BlackRock, Grayscale, Bitwise File Updated 19B Forms in Rush for Ethereum ETF

All the updated forms removed the provisions for staking ether, which some say was causing a regulatory roadblock.

AccessTimeIconMay 23, 2024 at 6:53 a.m. UTC
Updated May 23, 2024 at 6:55 a.m. UTC
  • BlackRock, Grayscale, and Bitwise filed amended 19b-4 forms with the SEC for their proposed spot ether ETFs, removing staking provisions.
  • This change was likely made to avoid regulatory roadblocks. Staking is considered a form of passive income in the crypto world.

BlackRock, Grayscale and Bitwise on Wednesday filed amended 9b-4 forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for their proposed spot ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

All the updated forms removed the provisions for staking ether, which some say was causing a regulatory roadblock.

“Neither the Trust, nor the Sponsor, nor the Ether Custodian [...] nor any other person associated with the Trust will, directly or indirectly, engage in action where any portion of the Trust’s ETH becomes subject to the Ethereum proof-of-stake validation or is used to earn additional ETH or generate income or other earnings,” the amended BlackRock filing said.

Staking is the process of locking specific cryptocurrencies for a set period to help support the operation of a blockchain, in turn, for a reward. These rewards are considered mainly passive income among crypto traders.

As of Thursday, annualized yields on ether staking were nearly 3%, according to data from popular staking service Lido.

All ether ETF hopefuls have now filed their amended proposals ahead of an approval or disapproval decision expected on Thursday.

Fidelity filed its amended S-1 forms earlier this week, dropping its staking plans. Later, VanEck, Franklin Templeton, Invesco Galaxy and ARK 21Shares filed similar amendments to remove staking. Hashdex is the only issuer yet to file an amendment to its Ethereum ETF.

As such, the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has started listing VanEck’s Ether ETF under the ticker symbol ETHV on its site, which some take as a positive sign.

On Monday, influential Bloomberg analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart updated their odds of approval to 75% from the earlier 25%, causing a market-wide jump. Ether rose over 17%, while bitcoin retook the $71,000 mark for the first time since early April.

Market watchers have described the move as a sudden change in tone for the SEC, which was earlier said not to be considering the approval of an ether ETF. In an interview with Unchained, Seyffart said the issue had become “political,” with the decision coming “from above, likely Biden.”


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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