By Suzanne McGee
(Reuters) – Asset management giant BlackRock registered to create an ethereum trust, a potential first step toward asking regulators to approve an exchange-traded fund tied to ether, the second-largest digital token.
BlackRock registered the iShares Ethereum Trust as a Delaware statutory trust on Thursday.
Ethereum’s price was recently up 7% at around $2,022, its highest level since April. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, was up 2.4% at $36,450, after hitting an 18-month high earlier in the day.
Earlier this year, BlackRock registered a bitcoin trust in the same manner and a week later filed an application with the SEC to launch a spot bitcoin ETF. BlackRock declined to comment on the trust’s creation or on any plans for an ETF filing.
To date, roughly a dozen ETF providers have filed to create spot bitcoin ETFs, or convert existing products into spot ETFs, helping fuel the recent rally in the cryptocurrency.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has so far not approved any other than ETFs tied to futures contracts, with SEC Chair Gary Gensler arguing that the spot bitcoin market is prone to fraud and manipulation.
Several other ETF providers that have applied for spot bitcoin ETFs also have sought SEC approval for spot ether ETFs, including Ark Investment Management, Invesco and VanEck.
(Reporting by Suzanne McGee; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and David Evans)
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