Swiss investment firm Pando Asset has emerged as an unexpected contender in the U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) race, submitting a Form S-1 to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Nov. 29.
This filing, designed to register securities, outlines the Pando Asset Spot Bitcoin Trust’s objective of tracking Bitcoin’s price. Similar to other ETF proposals, the trust plans to utilize Coinbase’s custody arm for holding Bitcoin on behalf of the trust.
Pando Asset becomes the 13th participant in the competitive landscape of entities seeking SEC approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. Noteworthy contenders in this race include BlackRock, ARK Invest, and Grayscale.
Pando Asset Bitcoin ETF Filing Timing Raises Questions Amidst SEC Engagements
Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas expressed curiosity and raised questions about the timing of Pando’s filing in a Nov. 29 tweet, pondering its implications if approved among the anticipated batch on Jan. 10.
The analysts, Balchunas and James Seyffart, have conjectured that Jan. 10 might witness simultaneous approval of all spot Bitcoin ETFs, coinciding with the SEC’s decision on ARK Invest’s bid. However, Seyffart remains uncertain about Pando’s readiness to launch alongside others on the proposed date.
Simultaneously, BlackRock engaged with the SEC on Nov. 28, presenting revisions to its ETF model based on feedback received from a prior meeting.
Revised ETF Model Addresses U.S. Broker-Dealer Concerns in Crypto Transactions
The adjustments address concerns regarding balance sheet impacts and potential risks for U.S. broker-dealers interacting with offshore crypto entities.
Balchunas clarified that the revised model involves the offshore entity obtaining Bitcoin from Coinbase and pre-paying the U.S. registered broker-dealer in cash, as broker-dealers are restricted from directly handling Bitcoin.
The SEC had previously encouraged ETFs to implement redemption models. These models would shift the responsibility for Bitcoin transactions onto issuers. This approach aims to avoid the engagement of unregistered subsidiaries or third-party entities in Bitcoin dealings.