BlackRock, VanEck, WisdomTree Reveal Bitcoin ETF Fees in Amended S-1 Filings

Bitcoin ETF applicants BlackRock, VanEck and WisdomTree have revealed the fees for their proposed ETFs amid a flurry of amended S-1 form filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

BlackRock has set its fee at 0.2% for the first year, or until the ETF reached $5 billion in assets, after which it will rise to 0.3%. WisdomTree has picked a higher 0.5% fee, while VanEck has opted for a 0.25% fee. VanEck last week pledged 5% of the profits from its proposed ETF to Bitcoin core developers at Brink.

Ark Invest/21Shares, Invesco and Fidelity have also filed amended S-1 forms, with Ark Invest lowering its fee from the previously announced 0.8% to 0.25%.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Eric Balchunas commented on Twitter that, “The ETF Terrordome is no joke,” noting that BlackRock’s 0.3% fee is “much cheaper than I predicted.” He added that, “Life just got a LOT tougher for everyone else.”

A spot Bitcoin ETF will grant investors exposure to the underlying asset, BTC, without all the overhead of having to figure out how to buy it, manage private keys, or use a hardware wallet. In exchange for not having to do any of that management, investors pay the fund issuer a fee. And when all else is equal, it’s usually the lowest—and most competitive—fee that prevails.

The firms have been rushing to hand in their amended S-1 forms before the SEC’s final deadline expires at 8am today, following Friday’s filing of their amended 19b-4 forms.

The Bitcoin ETF race

Although the SEC has historically rejected every single application for a spot Bitcoin ETF, the entry of BlackRock—the world’s biggest asset manager—into the fray in 2023 sparked renewed optimism that approval of an ETF could be on the horizon.

The race gained further momentum following an August 2023 court victory for Grayscale, with a judge ruling that the SEC had to review its application to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) product into a spot Bitcoin ETF.

The SEC now has a brief window before January 10 in which several spot Bitcoin ETF applications could be approved at once.

Bloomberg Intelligence’s Balchunas raised the odds of the SEC approving a spot Bitcoin ETF in January to 95% this weekend, though crypto prediction market Polymarket shows market participants taking a more cautious stance, pegging the chances of a Bitcoin ETF being approved by January 15 at 83%.

In a Bitwise poll conducted last week, just 39% of financial advisors surveyed expressed confidence that a spot Bitcoin ETF would be available to U.S. investors in 2024.

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

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