Fidelity, the multi-trillion-dollar asset management firm, has once again filed paperwork for its Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, a move that marks the company’s renewed pursuit of launching a spot bitcoin ETF.
Fidelity Investments, the financial titan overseeing $11 trillion in assets under administration, has once again stepped into the arena of spot bitcoin ETF contenders.
The move occurs in the wake of BlackRock’s iShares unit, an asset management company with nearly $9 trillion in assets under management, revealing its plans to launch its own spot bitcoin ETF earlier in June.
BlackRock’s announcement has spurred a chain reaction, reigniting the ambitions of several other fund companies including Invesco, WisdomTree, and Ark Invest.
The relaunched initiative, named the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, is not Fidelity’s maiden venture into the spot bitcoin ETF field.
The company had originally applied to launch the same in 2021, only for it to be shot down by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in early 2022. Interestingly, Fidelity had successfully rolled out a similar product in Canada just a couple of months before the SEC’s denial.
Unlike its previous attempt, Fidelity’s latest filing comes with a “surveillance sharing agreement” with an undisclosed U.S.-based bitcoin trading platform. This agreement mirrors a similar one included in the recent BlackRock filing and is aimed at assuaging the SEC’s concerns over potential market manipulation.
In addition, Fidelity has brought attention to the recent losses experienced by crypto participants due to the insolvency of several custodians and centralized exchanges. The company posits that a spot bitcoin ETF could serve as a safeguard for “countless investors.”
This series of renewed attempts to launch bitcoin ETFs has flooded the SEC with an influx of new applications. While the SEC has not yet reached a decision on these applications, the market’s optimism is palpable, particularly surrounding BlackRock’s submission.
Despite this, skepticism remains in certain quarters. For example, Townsend Lansing, CoinShares’ chief product officer, recently suggested a mere 10% chance of approval for BlackRock’s application.
Fidelity has been a long-standing player in the cryptocurrency domain, launching Fidelity Digital Assets in 2018 to offer cryptocurrency custody and trade execution services to institutional investors.
The firm further extended its digital footprint by introducing its Crypto Industry and Digital Payments ETF (FDIG) and the Fidelity Metaverse ETF (FMET) in April 2022.
The resurgence of Fidelity’s attempt to launch a spot bitcoin ETF was largely anticipated following BlackRock’s announcement, further intensifying the competition in the digital asset landscape.