The ticker for BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) IBTC has reappeared on the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation’s (DTCC) website after disappearing for a few hours. The DTCC is a clearing and settlement service provider for the U.S. financial markets, and its website lists the securities that are eligible for its services.
The appearance of IBTC on the DTCC website on Oct. 23 sparked a frenzy among Bitcoin enthusiasts, as it was seen as a sign of a possible approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A spot Bitcoin ETF would allow investors to buy and sell actual Bitcoins, unlike the futures-based Bitcoin ETFs that have been approved so far.
The price of Bitcoin surged to new yearly highs above $34,000 following the news, as markets anticipated a huge inflow of institutional and retail demand for the leading cryptocurrency. However, the excitement was short-lived, as the ticker quietly disappeared from the site a few hours later, causing Bitcoin’s price to slump nearly 3%.
Why did IBTC disappear and reappear?
The reason for the disappearance and reappearance of IBTC on the DTCC website is not clear, as neither BlackRock nor the DTCC have issued any official statement on the matter. However, some analysts and experts have offered their speculations and explanations.
Eric Balchunas, a senior Bloomberg ETF analyst, pointed out that the drama around the IBTC listing seemed to be responsible for briefly crashing the DTCC website, as it received an unusual amount of attention from the crypto community. He said that this “speaks to the uniqueness and intensity of this entire saga.”
James Seyffart, another Bloomberg ETF analyst, responded to a Twitter user who noticed that the previous listing showed a “Y” under the “create/redeem” column while the new listing had an “N.” He said that he believes this indicates that BlackRock is “getting everything ready to launch if and when they get an SEC approval.” He added that “the ‘N’ just means it’s not open for create redeem because it’s not live yet.”
A DTCC spokesperson said in a statement that “it is standard practice for DTCC to add securities to the NSCC security eligibility file in preparation for the launch of a new ETF to the market.” The spokesperson also clarified that “appearing on the list is not indicative of an outcome for any outstanding regulatory or other approval processes.”
What does this mean for Bitcoin?
The reappearance of IBTC on the DTCC website does not necessarily mean that a spot Bitcoin ETF is imminent, as it still depends on the SEC’s decision. The SEC has been reluctant to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, citing concerns over market manipulation, investor protection, and custody issues.
However, some observers are optimistic that the SEC will eventually approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, as it has already approved several futures-based Bitcoin ETFs in recent weeks. These include ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF), VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF), and Invesco Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTCF).
A spot Bitcoin ETF would be more attractive and convenient for investors who want to gain exposure to the actual price movements of Bitcoin, rather than betting on its future prices. A spot Bitcoin ETF would also reduce the premium or discount that often occurs in futures-based products, as well as lower the fees and risks associated with futures contracts.
Bitcoin has held steady following IBTC’s reappearance and is up 0.15% in the last hour according to CoinMarketCap data. Bitcoin is trading at $33,940 marking a 19.1% gain over the past week.