13th February 2024 – (San Mateo) Franklin Templeton, a prominent asset management firm with $1.5 trillion in assets, has submitted an S-1 filing to the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. If approved, the fund would be listed as the “Franklin Ethereum ETF” on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
In its filing, Franklin Templeton expressed its intention to stake a portion of the ETF’s Ether holdings to generate additional income, a strategy similar to that outlined by ARK 21Shares in its revised S-1 filing. The firm mentioned that it may stake the fund’s assets through trusted providers, potentially including an affiliate of the sponsor. Franklin Templeton expects to stake Ether stored in the trust’s cold storage wallets, and any staking rewards received would be treated as income.
Several other Wall Street firms, including BlackRock, VanEck, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale, and Hashdex, have also applied for spot Ether ETFs and are awaiting approval from the SEC. Deadlines for the SEC’s decision on these applications range from May 23 to August 7. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart predicts that decisions will likely be made on all applicants by May 23, similar to the SEC’s approach to spot Bitcoin ETFs in January.
While Franklin Templeton entered the spot Ether ETF race relatively late, the firm has recently shown appreciation for the network fundamentals of Ethereum, Solana, and other blockchains. This has led to speculation that the ETF issuer may seek to expand its offerings beyond Bitcoin.