BlackRock’s Ethereum ETF Approval Postponed by SEC

Jan. 25, 2024
BlackRock’s Ethereum ETF Approval Postponed by SEC

The United States securities regulator has postponed its decision on BlackRock’s proposed spot Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF) one day before its deadline. This delay is attributed to the necessity for additional time to review the proposed rule change.

“A longer period is appropriate because the proposed rule change raises novel questions of law and policy,” Sherry Haywood, an assistant secretary at the Securities and Exchange Commission, said in a January 24 filing.

The delay comes one day ahead of the January 25 deadline. It is the first of several delays the SEC can exercise across 240 days. The first deadline is nearly 45 days after Nasdaq filed for an iShares Ethereum Trust (on BlackRock’s behalf) on December 11.

Furthermore, the spot Ether ETF decision is pending a final ruling from the SEC on August 7. In May, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas foresees a comprehensive decision for all pending spot Ether ETFs. This mirrors the SEC’s handling of 10 pending spot Bitcoin ETFs on January 10.

The VanEck and Ark 21Shares’ Ether ETF applications face final decision deadlines on May 23 and May 24. In contrast, Grayscale Investments, Invesco Galaxy, and Fidelity Investments, the other three applicants, have their final deadlines for June 18, July 5, and August 3, respectively.

“Next date that matters is May 23,” said James Seyffart, a fellow ETF analyst at Bloomberg with Seyffart, on January 24, adding he’d expect to see more spot Ether ETF delays “sporadically” over the coming months.

Differing Perspectives on Spot Ether ETF Approval

Spot Ethereum ETFs will enter the market until the space regulator approves their launch. The media believes this fate will likely be by the summer of 2024. The Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett noted that Ethereum’s “opaque” status may complicate the process. However, her source doesn’t think so. According to him, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission already positions the asset as a commodity.

Earlier this month, Balchunas pinned spot Ether ETF’s chances of approval at 70% by May. Hester “Crypto Mom” Peirce, one of the SEC’s commissioners, recently assured applicants that to convince the SEC to approve the spot, Ether ETFs will not require a court battle.

“It shouldn’t take a court to tell us that our approach is ‘arbitrary and capricious’ for us to get it right.”

However, other industry pundits are less optimistic. Morgan Creek Capital CEO Mark Yusko has predicted that if the SEC keeps being hostile before the cryptocurrency industry, there is less than a 50% chance of an approved spot Ether ETF success.

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Rida Fatima

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An ardent wordsmith with a rich five-year background in delving into the realms of finance and cryptocurrencies. Alongside curating captivating blogs, Unique's talents extend to crafting imaginative and engaging content.