Bogus BlackRock XRP Filing Spoofs ETF Watchers, Crypto Traders

The fake filing sent XRP higher by more than 10% before the token gave back those gains.

AccessTimeIconNov 13, 2023 at 9:36 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 14, 2023 at 4:29 p.m. UTC

Blackrock (BLK) is not attempting to launch an XRP exchange-traded fund (ETF), the asset manager said Monday.

A regulatory filing suggesting the company had taken a first step toward doing so is fake, a spokesperson said shortly after the news began circulating on social media. XRP's price jumped more than 10% at one point but had already begun sinking back to its pre-news intraday price of around 65 cents.

Blackrock has previously filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch spot bitcoin and ether ETFs. Prior to those SEC filings, were filings for a Delaware entity, which acts as the corporate vehicle for the product. Paperwork submitted Monday mimicked those forms but was not in fact filed by the asset management giant.

This is not the first time Delaware's corporate registration process has been abused, seemingly in an attempt to pump crypto prices. A pair of filings in 2021 suggested Grayscale, an asset manager, would launch trust vehicles for two tokens that Grayscale did not have plans for. Grayscale is a subsidiary of CoinDesk parent company Digital Currency Group.

Speculators took hold on Monday afternoon as ETF watchers, including Bloomberg's Eric Balchunas, amplified the phony filing, presenting it as true. Media corporations including Bankless and The Block also recirculated the news, fueling buy pressure on XRP.

But other informed observers expressed a high degree of doubt that Blackrock – hardly regarded as a risk-taker in crypto – would even think about creating an ETF product for XRP, which is the subject of active litigation with the SEC.

XRP also doesn't have a massive regulated futures market in the U.S., unlike bitcoin and ether.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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