According to an SEC filing today, Franklin Templeton is the latest asset manager planning to issue a Bitcoin ETF. The news follows the court ruling two weeks ago in which the Court of Appeals said that the SEC was wrong to block the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust from converting to an exchange traded fund (ETF). While the SEC has previously allowed ETFs based on Bitcoin futures, the court noted the 99.9% price correlation. The SEC is expected to appeal the court’s ruling.
The securities regulator has repeatedly rejected numerous cash Bitcoin ETF filings. Current pending ones include BlackRock iShares, ARK 21Shares, Bitwise, VanEck, Wisdomtree, Investco Galaxy, Wise Origin and Valkyrie.
Franklin Templeton is one of the most experienced asset managers when it comes to blockchain. It has a $300 million tokenized money market fund. So far, it uses the Stellar and Polygon blockchains, with plans to use three more.
There’s a possibility it might rate its own chances of becoming the first approved Bitcoin ETF. That’s because getting approval for its BENJI crypto app was not easy. If you look under the hood, there are compromises, such as not relying entirely on the blockchain as the primary transfer registry. And customers are not free to transfer the tokens outside the BENJI app. Hence, its tokens are not permissionless even if the ledger is.
The Franklin Templeton Bitcoin ETF plans to use Coinbase Custody Trust for the bitcoin and the Bank of New York Mellon for cash custody and as transfer agent.