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News/SEC Delays Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF Decisions

SEC Delays Bitcoin and Ethereum ETF Decisions

Van Thanh Le

Nov 17 2023

5 months ago3 minutes read
A chibi cubic robot in a futuristic crypto trading floor, with screens displaying Bitcoin and Ethereum rates

Prolonged Anticipation in Crypto Sphere

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to push back its verdict on the approval of spot Bitcoin and Ethereum Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) to 2024. This delay, attributed to the SEC's need for a more comprehensive review of the applications, has cast a ripple of uncertainty across the cryptocurrency market.

The postponement notably affects Grayscale’s Ethereum Futures ETF and HashDex’s Bitcoin Futures ETF. Despite the growing market demand and a generally positive sentiment, the SEC's concerns regarding market manipulation, fraud, and investor risks have been pivotal in this delay. 

James Seyffart, a notable Bloomberg analyst, predicts a strong 90% likelihood of Spot Bitcoin ETF approval by January 10, 2024. However, the deadlines for the pivotal filings of Hashdex and Franklin Spot Bitcoin applications loom, set for January 1, 2024, with a possible extension to March 2024. 

By May 2024, the SEC is expected to reach a decision on all pending Spot Bitcoin ETF filings, marking a significant period for the cryptocurrency sector.

WisdomTree's Renewed Efforts Amidst SEC's Delays

In the wake of this regulatory pause, WisdomTree has taken a proactive stance. On November 16, the firm filed an amended Form S-1 spot Bitcoin ETF prospectus with the SEC. This follows their refiled spot Bitcoin ETF application in June 2023, signaling their unwavering commitment to breaking into the ETF space. 

The amended prospectus reveals that the WisdomTree Bitcoin Trust ETF, set to trade under the ticker BTCW, will have Coinbase Custody Trust as the custodian, holding all of the trust's Bitcoin. 

A team in a modern office discusses around a holographic crypto data display, with a cityscape view in the background.webp

Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart views this as a clear indication of WisdomTree's ongoing discussions with the SEC and their determination to launch an ETF amidst a challenging regulatory environment.

Interestingly, only two out of twelve spot Bitcoin ETF filers in the U.S. have yet to amend their S-1 filings with the SEC: Franklin Templeton and Global X. With Franklin Templeton's first spot Bitcoin ETF deadline on November 17 and Global X's second deadline on November 21, the crypto community is closely watching these developments. 

Seyffart suggests that the SEC might delay decisions on these upcoming deadlines but remains optimistic about eventual approvals.

BlackRock Enters the Scene with Spot Ether ETF

Adding to the mix, BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, has filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its iShares Ethereum Trust, a spot ether exchange-traded fund (ETF). 

This move follows the recent registration of the iShares Ethereum Trust and a 19b-4 filing with the SEC. Following this announcement, the price of ether (ETH) briefly surged nearly 2% to $2,080 but has since settled around its price prior to the news. 

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BlackRock, also awaiting the SEC's decision on a spot bitcoin ETF, signals a significant shift in the company's stance on crypto, with CEO Larry Fink recently expressing support for the sector.

Market Movements Reflect Uncertainty and Resilience

The cryptocurrency market has shown mixed reactions to these developments. Bitcoin and Ethereum experienced a drop of around 4.8% and 4.7%, respectively, before recovering a bit during the day. 

Prior to the ETF delays, Bitcoin's price had surged above $37,000, indicating market resilience despite regulatory uncertainties. The correlation of Bitcoin with the Nasdaq rebounded to 0.51, reflecting its interconnectedness with broader financial markets.

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Analysts like Noelle Acheson suggest that Bitcoin's market behavior remains unpredictable, influenced by macroeconomic trends and ETF speculation. The equities market also experienced fluctuations, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes losing up to 0.5% before recovering. 

Tom Essaye, founder of Sevens Report Research, highlighted the CPI report's impact on investor expectations regarding rate hikes, adding another layer to the complex factors influencing Bitcoin's price. Treasury yields eased by about 3% this week, further complicating the market dynamics.

Concluding Insights

As the cryptocurrency market navigates through this critical phase, the SEC's delayed decisions on Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs have created a blend of optimism and uncertainty. Major players like WisdomTree and BlackRock are actively pursuing ETF approvals, reflecting the industry's eagerness for regulatory clarity. 

Despite the regulatory hurdles, the market shows signs of resilience, as seen in Bitcoin's price surge. However, the market's response to these developments, coupled with macroeconomic trends, remains complex and unpredictable. 

The upcoming months are crucial as the industry awaits the SEC's decisions, which could significantly influence market dynamics and investor sentiment.

FAQs

1. What Impact Does the SEC's Delay on Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs Have on the Market?

The SEC's delay introduces a period of uncertainty but also reflects a cautious approach to investor protection. The market shows resilience, as evidenced by Bitcoin's price surge, but also remains sensitive to regulatory decisions.

2. How Might WisdomTree's Amended Filing Influence the SEC's Decision?

WisdomTree's amended filing demonstrates their readiness and commitment to launching a Bitcoin ETF. This proactive approach could influence the SEC by showcasing the preparedness and seriousness of applicants.

3. What Does BlackRock's Entry into the Ether ETF Space Signify?

BlackRock's entry into the Ether ETF space is significant, as it represents the interest of the world's largest asset manager in cryptocurrency. It indicates growing institutional interest and could sway market confidence positively.

4. How Are Crypto Prices Reacting to These Regulatory Developments?

Cryptocurrency prices, particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum, have shown both resilience and volatility in response to these developments. The prices are influenced by a mix of regulatory news, market speculation, and broader economic factors.

5. What Should Investors Expect in the Coming Months Regarding ETF Approvals?

Investors should brace for a period of uncertainty and volatility. While approvals could boost market confidence, further delays or rejections might lead to cautious market behavior. Staying informed and prepared for various outcomes is crucial.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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