BlackRock Adds Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, UBS as APs for Bitcoin ETF

Authorized participants in ETFs are responsible for the creation and redemption process of the fund through which they create liquidity.

AccessTimeIconApr 5, 2024 at 3:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 5, 2024 at 5:52 p.m. UTC
  • BlackRock has added Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, UBS, Citadel Securities and ABN AMRO as authorized participants for the iShares Bitcoin Trust.
  • This brings the total number of APs to nine as they join Jane Street Capital, JPMorgan, Macquarie and Virtu Americas.
  • Popular ETFs tend to have over a dozen APs.
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  • BlackRock (BLK) has added five additional authorized participants (APs) to the iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT), bringing the total number to nine as the fund continues to attract billions of dollars from investors.

    The new APs include Wall Street banking giants Goldman Sachs, Citadel Securities, Citigroup and UBS as well as clearing house ABN AMRO, according to a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They join Jane Street Capital, JP Morgan, Masquarie and Virtu Americas.

    CoinDesk reported in January that Goldman Sachs was looking to play a key role for the bitcoin ETFs and was in talks with issuers about becoming an AP.

    APs are an integral part of the ETF process as they help create liquidity by changing the supply of shares when there’s a shortage or a surplus. Large ETFs typically have dozens of APs, and in less than three months of existence, IBIT has become fairly sizable with nearly $18 billion in assets under management as of the close yesterday.

    The participation of Goldman Sachs is particularly notable as its wealth management chief investment officer just this week said the bank believes that crypto has "no value" and feels no pressure to participate in the space even as other TradFi giants are taking major steps.

    The Goldman news recalls that of JPMorgan, whose CEO Jamie Dimon publicly bashed cryptocurrencies for years, but became one of the original APs for BlackRock's IBIT when the fund launched in January.

    CORRECTION (April 5, 2024, 17:51 UTC): Corrects the mention of Citadel, the hedge fund, to Citadel Securities, the market maker as an authorized participant.

    Edited by Stephen Alpher.

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    Helene Braun

    Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.