Franklin Templeton is seeking to offer a spot bitcoin ETF, a Sept. 12 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed, making it the latest big traditional asset manager to toss its hat into the ring.
"The odds of a spot bitcoin ETF approval have significantly increased since Grayscale won its case against the SEC," said Roxanna Islam, head of sector and industry research at VettaFi, a data and analytics provider. "It's likely we will see more ETF applications over the next few weeks including companies like Franklin Templeton that may have previously been reluctant to join the spot bitcoin ETF race."
On Aug. 29, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Grayscale Investments in its closely watched case against the SEC over the regulator's denial of an application to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to a spot bitcoin ETF. The court granted Grayscale's petition for review and vacated the SEC's order.
BlackRock, the world's largest money manager with $9.43 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, on June 15 filed with the SEC to offer a spot bitcoin ETF called the iShares Bitcoin Trust. BlackRock's move was followed by a flurry of other filings for spot bitcoin ETFs, including one later that month pertaining to Fidelity's proposed Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust.
While the SEC has yet to approve a spot bitcoin ETF, Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Intelligence senior ETF analyst, sees a spot bitcoin ETF as a potential bridge between financial advisers who manage money for wealthy baby boomers and the cryptocurrency world.
"And Franklin services many of these advisers, who in turn service the wealth of the baby boomers, who have the majority of the wealth in America," Balchunas said.
Franklin Templeton had more than $1.4 trillion in AUM as of July 31, a Franklin spokesperson said. Regarding Franklin's plans for a spot bitcoin ETF, the spokesperson declined to comment beyond the filing.