BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has recently applied for a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This move is significant, as previous ETF applications from other companies, including Grayscale, VanEck, and WisdomTree, have been rejected by the SEC​.

What sets BlackRock’s application apart is the proposed use of a “surveillance-sharing agreement”. This agreement, which would be between exchanges, allows for the sharing of information about market trading activity, clearing activity, and customer identification, thus reducing the potential for market manipulation. The SEC has previously highlighted the importance of such agreements, making this a potentially strong move by BlackRock​​.

However, industry veteran Dave Weisberger has countered that any such surveillance-sharing agreement is superfluous, as data feeds from major crypto exchanges are already public and could be accessed by the SEC. Nevertheless, the SEC has been concerned with market manipulation related to Bitcoin prices, and the surveillance-sharing agreement could address these concerns​​.

In terms of market impact, the announcement of BlackRock’s ETF application has had a positive effect on Bitcoin’s price. Shortly after the news, the price of Bitcoin jumped from below $25,000 to approximately $25,500 and continued to rise, almost breaking $27,000 on the following Monday​. This increase happened despite the Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone on interest rates, which initially led to a drop in Bitcoin’s price​​.

If the SEC approves BlackRock’s ETF, this could represent a major shift in the Bitcoin market. Approval of a Bitcoin ETF would provide a regulated and mainstream investment vehicle for Bitcoin, potentially exposing it to trillions more in capital. This could drive further adoption and acceptance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which could subsequently influence the price of Bitcoin.

As for mining Bitcoin and other currencies, an approved ETF could lead to increased demand for Bitcoin, which might incentivize more mining. However, the correlation between Bitcoin’s price and the level of mining activity is complex and influenced by many factors, including the cost of electricity, the efficiency of mining hardware, and the difficulty of the Bitcoin mining algorithm.

Current most popular Bitcoin miners:

It’s important to note that the approval of the Bitcoin ETF is still uncertain and hinges on the SEC’s decision. The regulator’s past hesitations regarding market manipulation and the need for surveillance-sharing agreements suggest that the decision-making process could be complex and lengthy.

Please note that this is a rapidly evolving situation and the information provided here is accurate up to June 23, 2023. Future developments could alter the situation significantly.

What remains unclear and could be further explored is the exact impact the approval of the Bitcoin ETF could have on other cryptocurrencies and the broader financial market. Future research could also look into more detailed predictions regarding Bitcoin mining in the context of a potential approval of the ETF.