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  • BlockFi files with the SEC for a spot bitcoin ETF.
  • The BlockFi NB Bitcoin ETF would buy and hold actual bitcoin through an undisclosed custodian.
  • The offering sprung from a collaboration between the lending platform and Neuberger Berman Group, a $400 billion investment manager.

Lending platform BlockFi filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for offering a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the country. The BlockFi NB Bitcoin ETF would trade on the New York Stock Exchange and hold actual BTC, but the third party that would serve as the fund’s custodian was not disclosed.

“The trust’s investment objective is for the shares to reflect the performance of bitcoins held by the trust, less the trust’s expenses and other liabilities,” according to the filing. “The trust will not seek to reflect the performance of any benchmark or index. In seeking to achieve its investment objective, the trust will hold bitcoin.”

The BlockFi NB Bitcoin ETF is the fruit of a joint venture between lending platform BlockFi and Neuberger Berman Group, a private, employee-owned investment management firm with over $400 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Bitcoin-related ETFs have recently gone live in the U.S. that invest in bitcoin futures, trading billions of dollars and breaking records shortly after launch. However, due to the inherent drawbacks of derivatives-based offerings, investors are looking ahead and waiting for the approval of a product that invests in bitcoin directly.

However, the outlook isn’t great for spot bitcoin ETFs, as the SEC is clearly favoring derivatives-based products. In September, the commission’s chairman Gary Gensler said that such offerings would have the highest chance of approval compared to spot bitcoin ETFs. After two months passed and two bitcoin futures ETFs approved, the SEC’s approach appears to hold.

While investors can’t enjoy BTC exposure with the practicality a spot bitcoin ETF would offer, they can leverage a few simple tools to purchase bitcoin themselves and hold actual bitcoin instead of an IOU  the only way to truly benefit from Bitcoin’s value proposition.