Franklin Templeton (BEN.N) has officially filed for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF), joining a growing list of asset managers seeking exposure to the cryptocurrency market.
This marks the eighth application for a spot Ethereum ETF, following the recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Spot crypto ETFs track the market price of the underlying digital asset, offering investors exposure to the token without requiring direct purchase. With Franklin’s filing, there are now eight ETF providers competing in the spot Ethereum ETF space, all of whom introduced spot Bitcoin products earlier this year.
While industry giants like BlackRock and Fidelity (FIS.N) lead the spot Bitcoin ETF race with assets exceeding billions, Franklin Templeton currently holds assets totaling $77 million in its Bitcoin ETF, according to BitMEX Research.
Despite its position, Franklin Templeton remains committed to marketing its spot Bitcoin ETF through various channels.
The SEC’s recent delay in decisions regarding Grayscale Investments’ application for a spot Ethereum ETF and BlackRock’s similar proposal highlights the regulatory complexity surrounding cryptocurrency ETFs. In fact, VanEck was the first to file for a spot Ethereum ETF, with the SEC expected to make a decision by May 23.
Moreover, Coinbase Custody, a unit of crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN.O), is slated to hold the proposed ETF’s ether in custody, further cementing its role as a key player in the crypto custody space.
There is no doubt that the filing of Franklin Templeton’s spot Ethereum ETF application signals growing interest among asset managers in cryptocurrency products, with expectations for potential approvals in the coming months.
Standard Chartered predicts that spot Ethereum ETFs may see approval as early as May 2024, potentially sparking significant trading activity and driving Ethereum’s value surge, similar to Bitcoin’s trajectory before its spot ETF approval.