BlackRock Plans Workforce Reduction Ahead of Big Bitcoin ETF Decision

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The largest asset manager in the world, BlackRock, is gearing up to announce a 3% decrease in its global staff, which will impact about 600 employees. 

The move is anticipated to be made public in the next few days, in line with the expectation of positive news about the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval for a spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). 

BlackRock’s ETF Approval May Come Earlier

The internal changes are a result of regular staff assessments based on performance over the previous 12 months, and they occur as BlackRock prepares to potentially have its Bitcoin ETF proposal approved.

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According to a report from a Fox Business article published on January 6, BlackRock is anticipating the SEC’s decision on January 10, which may also coincide with the SEC’s scheduled approval or rejection of the ARK 21Shares spot Bitcoin ETF.

However, it is worth noting that the SEC’s deadline for BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF application is officially January 15. 

Increased Activities Indicative of BlackRock Moves

Recent days have seen a flurry of amendment filings with the SEC by various spot Bitcoin ETF applicants.

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On January 5, BlackRock submitted a 19b-4 amendment for its spot BTC ETF application joining other asset managers like Valkyrie, Grayscale Investments, Bitwise, Hashdex, ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, VanEck, and WisdomTree in doing the same. 

These filings represent crucial steps in the SEC approval process, with the completion of S-1 documents necessary for U.S. exchanges to list shares of investment securities directly tied to cryptocurrencies.

In December 2023, TheCoinRise reported on BlackRock’s adjustments to its Bitcoin ETF application, designed to increase accessibility for Wall Street banks.

The modifications allow major banks to participate as authorized participants, creating new fund shares using cash instead of exclusively crypto. This in-kind redemption model addresses restrictions preventing direct holdings of Bitcoin or crypto on the balance sheets of these financial institutions.

Other Asset Managers in the Race for Bitcoin ETF

Aside from BlackRock, TheCoinRise had reported that other asset management companies seeking to offer investors a robust set of options for introducing exposure to digital assets ETFs include ARK Invest and 21Shares.

The race for the spot Bitcoin ETF product is growing as investors see this product as a conduit for enticing mainstream financial giants into crypto. The SEC is reportedly planning a joint approval so that none of the applicants can get a first-mover advantage like it did for ProShares Futures ETF.

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