The Swiss asset management firm Pando Asset is seeking approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a spot Bitcoin ETF. This proposal, named the Pando Asset Spot Bitcoin Trust, intends to be listed on the Cboe BZX Exchange and plans to use Coinbase as its custodian. The trust aims to determine Bitcoin prices using the CME’s CF Bitcoin Reference Rate.
Pando Asset’s initiative is in line with its existing products in Europe, where it offers exchange-traded products tracking major cryptocurrencies on the SIX Swiss Exchange. This move marks a strategic effort to reach a wider global investor base, particularly in the cryptocurrency market.
However, the SEC has been traditionally cautious regarding spot crypto ETFs, often delaying or rejecting similar proposals from major asset managers like BlackRock, Fidelity, and ARK Invest. This caution stems from concerns over market volatility, liquidity, and the possibility of manipulation in the cryptocurrency sector.
Recent developments, however, suggest a change in the SEC’s stance, as applications from Franklin Templeton and Hashdex have begun a public comment phase, indicating a potentially faster review process. Additionally, recent meetings between the SEC and representatives from Invesco and BlackRock highlight ongoing discussions and negotiations. BlackRock’s proposal to mitigate the SEC’s concerns about balance sheet impacts and risks associated with in-kind models is an example of these efforts.
Scott Johnsson from Van Buren Capital notes that BlackRock’s suggestion to create a cash receivable system from offshore to onshore market makers, ensuring cash stays within U.S. jurisdiction, might address some of the SEC’s concerns.