Franklin Templeton joins the spot Ethereum ETF race

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Franklin Templeton has become the latest Wall Street firm to apply for a spot Ether (ETH) exchange-traded fund in the United States.

The $1.5 trillion dollar asset management firm submitted the S-1 filing with the United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on Feb. 12. If approved, it would be listed as “Franklin Ethereum ETF” on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Franklin Templeton’s S-1 application for a spot Ethereum ETF. Source: SEC

Interestingly, Franklin signaled its intention to stake a portion of the ETF’s Ether to produce additional income, similar to ARK 21Shares’ revised S-1 filing last week.

“The Sponsor may, from time to time, stake a portion of the Fund’s assets through one or more trusted staking providers, which may include an affiliate of the Sponsor.”

Franklin said it would expect to stake Ether from the trust’s cold storage wallets and that the trust would receive staking rewards, treated as income, as a result.

BlackRock, VanEck, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale and Hashdex are the other spot Ether ETF applicants vying for SEC approval.

The SEC must decide on VanEck’s application by May 23, ARK 21Shares by May 24, Hashdex by May 30, Grayscale by June 18 and Invesco by July 5.

Fidelity and BlackRock’s applications must be decided by Aug. 3 and Aug. 7.

Related: Ethereum’s short-term price action ‘may take traders by surprise’ — Here’s why

However, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart expects a decision to be made on all applicants by May 23 — similar to how the U.S. securities regulator made a decision on all spot Bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 10.

Seyffart’s fellow Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas recently lowered the odds of a spot Ether ETF approval in 2024 from 70% to 60% on Jan. 30.

 Franklin was one of the 10 ETF issuers that launched a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. last month.

While Franklin was late to the spot Ether ETF race, it recently praised the network fundamentals of Ethereum, Solana and other blockchains, which sparked the proposition that the ETF issuer may look to expand beyond Bitcoin.

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