Franklin Templeton, a financial giant with nearly $1.5 trillion in assets under management, has thrown its hat into the ring in the race to launch a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). In their filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Franklin Templeton outlined plans for a Coinbase-custodied ETF that would trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. However, they have not yet proposed a ticker symbol for this ETF.
This move aligns Franklin Templeton with other major players such as BlackRock and Fidelity, all of whom are vying for the SEC's approval to introduce a spot bitcoin ETF to the public markets. Such an ETF would offer everyday investors a straightforward way to gain exposure to bitcoin's price movements within their brokerage accounts, alongside traditional assets like stocks and bonds.
While Franklin Templeton is a recognized name in structured investment products like mutual funds and ETFs, this filing marks their first attempt into the bitcoin ETF arena, making it a noteworthy development.
Despite growing optimism among industry analysts about the possibility of a bitcoin ETF entering the U.S. market, it's important to note that Franklin Templeton is not likely to be the first to achieve this milestone. Competitors like BlackRock, WisdomTree, and Fidelity are further along in the SEC's regulatory process. The SEC is expected to review these filings in mid-October, but past bureaucratic delays suggest that a final decision may not emerge until March 2024. This means that we are not there yet, but this much interest showed from financial players like Franklin Templeton is certainly a good sign.