In a move that further legitimizes Bitcoin in institutional finance, the global investment giant Franklin Templeton filed a regulatory Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, seeking approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF.
The development comes at a time when the race to launch the first US spot Bitcoin ETF is hotly contested, with entrants including incumbents like Fidelity and BlockRock, as well as upstarts like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).
Franklin Templeton, managing approximately $1.5 trillion in assets, is looking to capitalize on the growing demand for Bitcoin investments. Their proposed ETF, if approved, would provide investors with a more accessible and regulated means to gain exposure to the world’s leading cryptocurrency.
The filing outlines plans for the Franklin Templeton Digital Asset Trust, which aims to track the performance of Bitcoin.
Several other investment firms have submitted similar applications in recent years, but none have yet received SEC approval.
Still, over the past few years, Bitcoin has garnered attention as a store of value and a hedge against inflation, driving institutions to diversify their portfolios.
In their filing, Franklin Templeton highlighted the benefits of a Bitcoin ETF, such as improved liquidity and ease of trading for investors, without the need for them to directly hold and manage cryptocurrency assets. This approach is expected to be more appealing to conservative investors who are still hesitant about the complexities of Bitcoin custody and security.
However, the road to launching a Bitcoin ETF in the United States has been a challenging one, with the SEC consistently emphasizing the need for robust investor protections and market surveillance. Franklin Templeton’s application will be subject to a thorough regulatory review, which could take several months before a final decision is reached.
If approved, the Franklin Templeton Digital Asset Trust would join the growing list of cryptocurrency ETFs available to U.S. investors, including the many Bitcoin Futures ETFs now live on various ex