Several companies have submitted applications to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in recent months, seeking approval for spot Bitcoin offerings. The pace of activity is not slowing down, with newcomers like Franklin Templeton joining the race. In a recent interview with Forbes, Giang Bui, Nasdaq’s Head of U.S. Equities and Exchange-Traded Products, emphasized the fierce competition within the ETF industry.
Nasdaq has been collaborating closely with issuers and various market participants in the ETF space, positioning itself to act swiftly once permitted. Bui stated, “In this industry, everyone is constantly vying for the most innovative concepts, and when similar product ideas arise, the key is to reach the market as quickly as possible. Being the first mover can make a significant impact.”
Bitcoin ETFs: The Battle Between Spot and Futures Approaches
Multiple futures-based Bitcoin ETFs are already available in the market. However, it’s essential to remember that futures prices can be influenced by contango effects, potentially affecting the fund’s performance. Consequently, there may be occasions when these ETFs deviate from the spot BTC price. Notably, managing futures contracts requires more effort compared to dealing with spot options. As of the latest available data, Proshares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF has delivered a 28.03% year-to-date return, whereas Bitcoin itself has surged by 58.04% in the same period.
Giang Bui suggested that a spot Bitcoin ETF might offer greater efficiency and appeal compared to investing directly in Bitcoin. Furthermore, the spot ETF can serve both as a trading instrument and a hedge. Drawing a comparison with futures-based options, Bui explained, “Historically, when there’s a choice between a commodity ETF in spot and futures variants, we tend to observe more assets flowing into the spot version.” Nasdaq is currently monitoring various milestones, and Bui mentioned that they are particularly interested in the mid-January date, which marks the 240th day for the Ark 21 shares filing. She added,
“Our 240th day is mid-March. So we really rely on some of those milestones because those are marks that the SEC has to make some kind of action in the filing.“