The Top 10 Bitcoin ETF Applications: Who is Applying for a Spot Bitcoin ETF?

Sep 25, 2023

Spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are an excellent way for you to invest in bitcoin (BTC) safely without buying, storing, or managing it directly.

However, in the United States, there are currently no spot BTC ETFs available, as the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) has yet to give any ETFs the green light. The SEC also recently announced it will be delaying its decision until October 2023.

This has not stopped asset management firms from submitting applications to put together spot BTC ETFs. Currently, there are ten active BTC spot ETF applications awaiting approval by the SEC. Some of the biggest names in the financial industry are behind these applications, including BlackRock, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, and Invesco.

Should any of these spot BTC ETFs be approved, institutional investors would have a much easier time investing in BTC, and it would act as a catalyst for greater crypto adoption throughout the world.

Here’s a glimpse of the top spot Bitcoin ETF applications currently awaiting SEC approval:

1. BlackRock

Total assets managed: >$8.5 trillion

ETF: iShares Bitcoin Trust

Headquarters: New York City

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, filed an application for a spot BTC ETF in June 2023. It was the first of what would become a flurry of spot Bitcoin ETF applications from large asset managers.

In their application, BlackRock proposed using the crypto exchange Coinbase for custody and market pricing. This move is what set their application apart. It addressed the SEC’s regulatory concerns over market manipulation — a hurdle that plagued many previous applications.

This inclusion, known as a “surveillance-sharing arrangement,” has become standard practice for every spot Bitcoin ETF application since. Given BlackRock's size and influence in the financial industry, its entry into the spot Bitcoin ETF market will bring further legitimacy to the crypto market and attract additional institutional investors.

2. Fidelity

Total assets managed: >$4 trillion

ETF: Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust

Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts

Just days after BlackRock’s ETF application, Fidelity announced they had also applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Like BlackRock, Fidelity intends to use Coinbase as a surveillance partner in order to prevent market manipulation.

Fidelity originally applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF in 2021 but was rejected by the SEC. However, once Blackrock set a new precedent with their application, Fidelity was able to quickly amend their original application and re-file.

Unlike BlackRock, Fidelity's spot Bitcoin ETF would be traded on its own platform — Fidelity Spire. This would give investors access to BTC through a platform they are already familiar with.

3. Franklin Templeton

Total assets managed: >$1.4 trillion

ETF: Franklin Bitcoin Trust

Headquarters: San Mateo, California

The most recent trillion dollar+ asset manager to apply for a spot Bitcoin ETF, Franklin Templeton, filed its application to the SEC in September 2023.

The company is one of the oldest on this list, dating back to the mid–20th century.

Known for its conservative investment approach, Franklin Templeton’s decision to apply for a spot Bitcoin ETF is a sign of the growing institutional acceptance of cryptocurrency.

The company's clients include pension funds, endowments, as well as individual investors.

The Franklin Bitcoin Trust shares are intended to be traded on the Cboe BZX Exchange, with Coinbase serving as the custodian for BTC holdings.

4. Invesco Galaxy

Total assets managed: >$1.4 trillion

ETF: Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF

Headquarters: New York City / Atlanta, Georgia

As with Fidelity, the Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF was originally filed (and eventually denied) by the SEC in 2021. The ETF was then re-filed soon after Blackrock's announcement in June 2023.

The Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF is a joint venture between two companies: Invesco and Galaxy Digital. The partnership combines the expertise of a traditional asset manager (Invesco) with that of a digital asset specialist (Galaxy Digital).

This collaboration could pave the way for other institutional investors to explore similar offerings, helping to bridge the gap between traditional finance and the world of digital assets.

Invesco has also filed applications with the SEC for two ETFs that will invest in companies involved in blockchain and the crypto economy: the Invesco Galaxy Blockchain Economy ETF and the Invesco Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF.

5. WisdomTree

Total assets managed: >$85 billion

ETF: WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust

Headquarters: New York City

Unlike previous entrants on this list, WisdomTree already has an approved and active spot Bitcoin ETF. This Spot Bitcoin ETF operates outside the United States, having launched on Switzerland's SIX stock exchange in 2019.

WisdomTree also tried but failed to apply for a spot ETF in the United States in 2021. Like its counterparts, however, it was quick to re-apply after BlackRock’s announcement in June 2023.

6. VanEck

Total assets managed: >$60 billion

ETF: VanEck Bitcoin Trust

Headquarters: New York City

VanEck was among the earliest and most persistent applicants for a spot Bitcoin ETF. The company first filed for a Bitcoin ETF in 2018, only to withdraw its application in September 2019.

In December 2020, VanEck tried again The shares of this trust were to be traded on the Cboe BZX Exchange, a standard for many of the ETFs on this list. However, as with other ETFs filed around this time, VanEck’s application was rejected at the end of 2021.

Not to be deterred, VanEck made a third application in 2022, only to be rejected by the SEC again in early 2023.

The company’s fourth application came in June 2023, following the standard set by BlackRock.

7. GlobalX

Total assets managed: >$40 billion

ETF: Global X Bitcoin Trust

Headquarters: New York City

GlobalX’s values align best with those of Ethereum. The firm manages over 110 ETFs, many of which are focused on disruptive tech, equity income, commodities, and emerging markets.

Another asset management firm from the class of 2021, GlobaX was also rejected by the SEC for its first spot Bitcoin ETF, only to re-apply soon after BlackRock in 2023.

GlobalX is a subsidiary of Mirae Asset Global Investments, a Seoul-based investment manager with over $500 billion in assets under management.

In addition to its spot Bitcoin ETF, GlobalX is also developing a number of other Bitcoin-related products, including a Bitcoin futures ETF.

8. ARK Invest

Total assets managed: >$14 billion

ETF: ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF

Headquarters: St. Petersburg, Florida

Ark Invest partnered with Swiss-based ETF provider 21Shares AG for its spot Bitcoin ETF.

The firm applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF once in 2021 and another time in 2022. Both applications were rejected.

In June 2023, Ark Invest amended its SEC filing to include a surveillance-sharing arrangement similar to that of BlackRock. This application is pending approval.

Ark Invest is led by Cathie Wood, a vocal advocate of Bitcoin and thought leader in the crypto space. She believes cryptocurrency represents "a new asset class" and could become a reserve currency.

The firm is the first to disclose the fees for its Bitcoin ETF — 0.95% — which will be used to cover operating expenses.

Ark Invest also has exposure to BTC in other forms, having invested in crypto exchange Coinbase, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, and payment processor Square.

9. Bitwise

Total assets managed: >$1 billion

ETF: Bitwise Bitcoin ETP Trust

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Bitwise is a digital asset management firm specializing in providing investors with access to cryptocurrency markets.

The company was founded in 2017 by Matt Hougan, a former investment strategist at BitGo and a well-known figure in the cryptocurrency industry.

Bitwise already has a Bitcoin futures ETF trading in the United States and filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF with the SEC in June 2023.

The firm also filed an application for Bitcoin and Ether Market Cap Weight Strategy ETF in August 2023, which it withdrew one month later.

10. Valkyrie

Total assets managed: >$1 billion



Valkyrie is a leading digital asset investment firm that provides investors with access to cryptocurrency through traditional financial products.

The firm is one of the few on this list that has managed to get a Bitcoin-related ETF approved by the SEC — a Bitcoin Miners ETF. This ETF was approved by the SEC in 2022 and is backed by holdings in Bitcoin Mining companies that, on average, use 77% renewable energy.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the information on this blog and in any articles posted on this blog is for general information only and should not be relied upon as financial advice. Cake Pte. Ltd., Bake, UAB, and its affiliates (the “Cake Group”) are not licensed financial advisers. You may wish to approach your own independent financial advisor before making any decision to buy, sell or hold any product and/or digital assets mentioned in this blog.

Any views, opinions, references, assertions of fact and/or other statements are not necessarily the views held by the Cake Group. The Cake Group disclaims any liability whatsoever that may arise out of or in connection with such statements. Always do your own research before investing in any financial assets and consult a qualified financial advisor if necessary.



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