Fidelity Joins Ethereum ETF Race, Pits Against BlackRock

Fidelity, a financial behemoth managing $4.5 trillion in assets, has entered the competition against BlackRock by filing for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF). The filing, submitted to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 17, outlines Fidelity’s intentions to list and trade shares of the Fidelity Ethereum Fund on the Cboe BZX Exchange.

Fidelity’s entry intensifies the competition in the Ethereum ETF arena, bringing the total number of filers to seven. Notable contenders include BlackRock, Hashdex, Grayscale, and VanEck. BlackRock, a key player, had previously filed for a spot ETH ETF – the iShares Ethereum Trust, setting the stage for heightened rivalry.

Fidelity’s Emphasis on Investor Access

The firm underscores the lack of a low-risk avenue for US citizens to expose themselves to Ethereum and digital assets. The firm points out the absence of US-regulated exchange-traded vehicles, drawing a parallel with Europe where investors have access to regulated products offering exposure to a variety of spot crypto assets. Fidelity sees the approval of a Spot ETH ETP as crucial for protecting US investors in the crypto asset space.

Fidelity’s proposal aims to address challenges such as fraudulent and manipulative practices in the crypto space. Referencing Section 6(b) of the Act, specifically Section 6(b)(5), the firm commits to safeguarding investors, promoting a free and open market, and serving the public interest. The proposal seeks to create a secure avenue for US investors to participate in Ethereum investments.

The filing references a court ruling involving Grayscale, where the court questioned the SEC’s rationale for rejecting spot crypto ETFs while permitting futures-based products. The move signals a proactive stance in navigating regulatory hurdles and fostering a favorable environment for the approval of Ethereum ETFs in the United States.