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Fidelity’s Fresh Attempt to Launch an Instant Bitcoin ETF

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Fidelity, the multi-trillion dollar asset manager, has once again filed papers for the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, a move that marks the company’s renewed push to launch a bitcoin spot ETF.

Fidelity Investments, the financial giant that oversees $11 trillion in assets under management, has once again entered the arena of immediate competitors to the Bitcoin ETF.

The move follows the iShares unit of BlackRock, an asset management firm with nearly $9 trillion in assets under management, which revealed plans to launch its own spot ETF earlier in June.

BlackRock’s announcement sparked a chain reaction, reigniting the ambitions of several other fund companies including Invesco, WisdomTree and Ark Invest.

The relaunched initiative, called the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, isn’t Fidelity’s first venture into the bitcoin spot ETF space.

The company had originally filed to launch the same thing in 2021, only to have it shot down by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in early 2022. Interestingly, Fidelity managed to launch a similar product in Canada in just two months. before the Securities and Exchange Commission refused.

Unlike its previous attempt, Fidelity’s latest filing comes with a “monitoring sharing agreement” with a US-based bitcoin trading platform. This agreement mirrors a similar agreement included in BlackRock’s recent filing and is intended to assuage the SEC’s concerns about potential market manipulation.

Additionally, Fidelity drew attention to the recent losses experienced by cryptocurrency participants due to the bankruptcies of several centralized custodians and exchanges. The company hypothesizes that the Bitcoin spot ETF can act as a protection for “countless investors.”

This series of renewed attempts to launch bitcoin ETFs has flooded the SEC with an influx of new applications. While the SEC has not yet reached a decision on these applications, market optimism is evident, particularly with regard to BlackRock’s filing.

Despite this, skepticism still lingers in some quarters. For example, Townsend Lansing, Chief Product Officer at CoinShares, recently suggested that BlackRock has only a 10% chance of approval.

Fidelity has been a long-time player in the cryptocurrency space, having launched Fidelity Digital Assets in 2018 to provide cryptocurrency custody and trade execution services to institutional investors.

The company has expanded its digital footprint by introducing the Crypto and Digital Payments Industry ETF (FDIG) and Fidelity Metaverse ETF (FMET) in April 2022.

The emergence of Fidelity’s bid to launch a Bitcoin spot ETF was highly anticipated after BlackRock’s announcement, which has intensified competition in the digital asset scene.

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