With a swath of Bitcoin spot ETF applications knocking at the regulators’ doorsteps, it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is forced to issue a decision on whether or not to approve them.
Estimates show that the agency may approve the first application as early as August.
First Deadline Incoming
According to Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart, the ARK 21shares Bitcoin ETF – which has been denied alongside other spot ETFs in past applications – is first in line to receive an approval/ denial among a new wave of applicants.
The analyst said that the SEC’s first deadline to issue a response to ARK is August 8. However, this deadline can be delayed – an outcome that Bloomberg expects.
Seyffart published a table last week with approximate estimates for the approval deadlines on other applications. The first deadline for most other ETFs is expected for early September, with Blackrock’s expected for September 2 at the time.
Last Bitcoin ETF decision deadline: 3/19/24
Bitcoin halving estimate: 4/16/24
— Will (@WClementeIII) July 10, 2023
Under Six Months Remain
Many applicants’ latest filings hit the US Federal Register this week, including Bitwise’s. BlackRock’s, Fidelity’s, WisdomTree’s, VanEck’s, Invesco’s, and finally Valkyrie’s on Friday.
This marks the official start of the SEC’s formal review of those applications, after which it has 45 days to either approve, deny or delay each. Delays can stretch to a maximum of 240 days.
However, since ARK filed relatively early with its first application, Bloomberg considers this the most important application to watch. The final deadline for its approval is on January 10, 2024.
After BlackRock filed for its ETF in June, virtually all other ETF applicants followed by proposing a virtually identical product to the asset management giant. All are now promising to form a surveillance-sharing agreement for their fund with Coinbase, America’s largest crypto exchange.
As such, the denial of one ETF by the SEC likely means a denial for the rest, meaning the order of all applications matters little. “SEC can still deny/approve en masse if they want,” said Seyffart over Twitter on Tuesday.
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