BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF Gets Backing From Wall Street Titan Goldman Sachs

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BlackRock's Bitcoin ETF Gets Backing From Wall Street Titan Goldman Sachs
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Several major U.S. banks have been added as partners to BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF since the product went live in January, including a prominent Wall Street titan that has previously derided crypto for years.

In post-effective amendments filed on Friday, BlackRock named Citadel, Goldman Sachs, UBS, and Citigroup as “authorized participants” for its iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT). An authorized participant is responsible for creating and redeeming shares of the fund to keep the price of IBIT joined at the hip with that of Bitcoin (BTC).

BlackRock confirmed to Decrypt that the new banks had been added as authorized participants.

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“Additional authorized participants may be added at any time, subject to the discretion of the sponsor,” reads BlackRock’s amended prospectus.

The four new banks join an already prestigious list including ABN AMRO, JP Morgan, Jane Street, Macquarie Capital, and Virtu, which were named as partners in BlackRock’s January 10 prospectus, one day before the fund officially launched.

While word about the new additions is circulating now, filings show that Goldman, UBS, and Citigroup were added as authorized participants as early as March 4. Rumors that Goldman Sachs could join in with both BlackRock and Grayscale have been circulating for months.

The latter’s addition is apparently at odds with the opinions of the bank’s own executives about the crypto industry. During a recent interview, Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani—CIO of the bank’s wealth management unit—said crypto was “not an investment asset class,” and that she and her bank’s clients are “not believers in crypto.”

That said, Goldman Sachs also has a dedicated digital assets unit, whose Asia-Pacific lead Max Milton said last month that their “largest clients are active or exploring getting active in the space.”

Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.

Meanwhile, Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan—whose company runs a rival spot Bitcoin ETF—has cited large demand from both retail clients and hedge funds, and says ETF growth will “continue for years” as national account platforms slowly embrace the products.

“Takeaway: Big-time firms now want a piece of the action and/or are now OK being publicly associated with this,” said Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas on Friday.

Bitcoin ETFs have absorbed over $12 billion in net flows since launching on January 11. BlackRock’s ETF now holds over $16 billion in assets.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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