BlackRock to slash 3% of workforce ahead of Bitcoin ETF deadline: Report

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The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is reportedly planning to reduce its global workforce by around 3% this week. This comes amid BlackRock’s expectations of receiving favorable news from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

According to a report from Fox Business on Jan. 6, citing people familiar with the matter, around 600 employees will be laid off as part of routine internal adjustments, and will be determined by employee performance over the past twelve months.

Additionally, BlackRock reportedly anticipates the approval of its Bitcoin ETF application on Jan. 10 – the same day that the SEC has a deadline to approve or reject the ARK 21 Shares spot Bitcoin ETF

However, the SEC’s deadline for BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF application is Jan. 15.

Related: BlackRock, Van Eck, Valkyrie file last-minute Bitcoin ETF amendments

This comes after a rush of amendment forms for spot Bitcoin ETF applications was filed to the SEC this week.

On January 5, BlackRock submitted a 19b-4 amendment for its spot BTC ETF application. 

The filing was made on the same day as other asset managers including Valkyrie, Grayscale, Bitwise, Hashdex, ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, VanEck, and WisdomTree.

These filings are one of the final steps in the SEC approval process; however, completion of S-1 documents is necessary for U.S. exchanges to list shares of investment securities with direct exposure to crypto.

Meanwhile, in December 2023, Cointelegraph reported that BlackRock has made changes to its Bitcoin ETF application in an effort to make it more accessible for Wall Street banks to participate by creating new shares in the fund with cash instead of just crypto.

The in-kind redemption model will enable major banks to serve as authorized participants for the fund.  It will allow them to bypass restrictions preventing the direct holding of Bitcoin or crypto on their balance sheets.

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