Franklin Templeton joins race to launch spot ether ETF

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Franklin Tem­ple­ton filed for a spot ether ETF, becom­ing the lat­est com­pa­ny to enter the race. 

“The Shares are intend­ed to offer a con­ve­nient means of mak­ing an invest­ment sim­i­lar to an invest­ment in ether rel­a­tive to acquir­ing, hold­ing and trad­ing ether direct­ly on a peer-to-peer or oth­er basis or via a dig­i­tal asset plat­form,” the fil­ing said.

Oth­er issuers, such as Ark 21Shares and Black­Rock, sub­mit­ted S‑1s for their poten­tial funds at the end of last year. 

Franklin was one of near­ly a dozen firms to launch a bit­coin ETF back in Jan­u­ary after the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion gave the issuers the green light. 

Accord­ing to the Mon­day fil­ing, Franklin is also inter­est­ed in stak­ing the ether (ETH) held by the pro­posed fund. Ark 21Shares updat­ed its prospec­tus last week to include lan­guage around stak­ing. The lan­guage had not been includ­ed in ear­li­er fil­ings, nor does it appear in fil­ings from BlackRock.

How­ev­er, Ark 21Shares notably includ­ed the lan­guage in brack­ets. The brack­ets are not includ­ed in the Franklin filing. 

“The Spon­sor may, from time to time, stake a por­tion of the Fund’s assets through one or more trust­ed stak­ing providers, which may include an affil­i­ate of the Spon­sor (“Stak­ing Providers”). In con­sid­er­a­tion for any stak­ing activ­i­ty in which the Fund may engage, the Fund would receive cer­tain stak­ing rewards of ether tokens, which may be treat­ed as income to the Fund,” the fil­ing said. 

The lan­guage, Block­works Research ana­lyst Spencer Hugh­es said, “marks a poten­tial mile­stone for the inter­sec­tion of [tra­di­tion­al finance] and dig­i­tal assets. Cur­rent­ly, ~25% of total ETH sup­ply is staked.”

A deci­sion on spot ETH ETFs is expect­ed in May, and Bloomberg Intel­li­gence ana­lyst James Seyf­fart believes that there’s a 60% chance that the SEC will approve the ETFs.

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