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

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Niamh Kavanagh
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BlackRock is reportedly set to break the news to 600 employees in the coming days amid hopes for the approval of its spot Bitcoin ETF application.

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

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, reportedly plans to reduce its global workforce by around 3% in the coming days.

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) application.

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. It will be determined by employee performance over the past 12 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 isn’t until Jan. 15.

This comes after a rush of amendment forms were filed with the SEC by spot Bitcoin ETF applicants in recent days.

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

Okay. @BlackRock 19b-4 amendment is in too. Expect to see 11 of these this evening:

— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) January 5, 2024

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, completing S-1 documents is necessary for U.S. exchanges to list shares of investment securities with direct exposure to crypto.

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

Meanwhile, in December 2023, Cointelegraph reported that BlackRock had made changes to its Bitcoin ETF application 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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