Blackrock may put off plans for an Ethereum ETF because of customer demand


Client demand for Ethereum has been lower than Bitcoin, prompting BlackRock to reevaluate its Ethereum ETF proposal.

The biggest asset manager in the world, BlackRock, may reevaluate its request to join the Ethereum ETF. This comes after its Bitcoin ETF debuted in January 2024 and was a smashing success. At the Bitcoin Investor Day conference in New York, Robert Mitchnick, who is the head of digital assets at BlackRock, brought attention to the fact that the majority of the firm’s clients are interested in Bitcoin. Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have much lesser demand, he said, when contrasted with Bitcoin. Mitchnick’s comments highlight a possible shift in BlackRock’s approach to digital assets, with an increased emphasis on Bitcoin in response to customer demand.

The company has not yet decided whether or not to go forward with the Ethereum ETF application. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its evaluation of BlackRock’s application until May 2024, which coincides with this dilemma. The appointment of Matt Kunk as Digital Assets Product Strategist by BlackRock shows that the firm’s dedication to investigating digital assets is unwavering, even in the face of uncertainty. Kunk is in charge of the company’s digital assets ETFs, which shows that they’re still interested in the space even if the Ethereum ETF’s future is unknown.

Amid heightened regulatory scrutiny of Ethereum by the SEC, there is hesitancy around the Ethereum ETF. Similar to how the SEC designated XRP as a security, there are continuing conversations within the industry over the potential classification of Ethereum as a security. It may be more difficult to have an Ethereum ETF approved under such a categorization. According to Alex Thorn, head of firmwide research at Galaxy Digital, the SEC’s investigations into cryptocurrency companies’ transactions with the Ethereum Foundation may indicate heightened monitoring. This casts doubt on the 2014 initial Ethereum ICO and might further muddy the waters of Ethereum’s categorization and regulatory environment.

Despite these obstacles, Ethereum has received backing from prominent industry figures such as Coinbase. They contend that the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have divergent regulatory opinions on the asset class. Everyone in the business sees Ethereum’s potential, and they’re rallying behind it, even if it faces regulatory challenges. Even if BlackRock decides not to maintain an Ethereum ETF, it won’t take away from the asset’s importance within the digital asset ecosystem as a whole.

Even if the Ethereum ETF’s fate is still up in the air, BlackRock isn’t stopping it from investigating other opportunities in the digital asset market. The asset management has made an announcement about the introduction of its stablecoin, BUIDL, on the Ethereum network. Tokenization and digital asset innovation are larger themes for BlackRock, and this step fits within that. Regardless of the particular results of individual ETF applications, these endeavors demonstrate the company’s persistent dedication to comprehending and using blockchain technology.

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