As expected, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States has delayed making a decision on a number of well-known proposals for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including the one from investing juggernaut BlackRock.
Applications from Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie are also affected by this delay, and it is anticipated that Fidelity, VanEck, and WisdomTree applications may also have delays.
This expected move by the SEC comes ahead of the anticipated U.S. government shutdown, slated for October 1. The ongoing gridlock in Congress over funding bills has created uncertainty, prompting the SEC to reschedule its decisions.
The initial deadline for many of these ETF applicants was set for October 16–19. However, the SEC’s latest delays have expedited the process. Furthermore, the third set of deadlines, scheduled for mid-January, could also be affected. Ultimately, the SEC must make its final decisions by mid-March.
This isn’t the first time the SEC has delayed Bitcoin ETF applications. In late August, the agency postponed a batch of applicants as the initial deadline loomed, causing turbulence in the cryptocurrency market. The uncertainty surrounding these ETF decisions has significantly impacted market sentiment, as highlighted in a report by CoinShares. The report underscores that “disappointment from SEC ETF decisions has impacted sentiment,” affecting digital asset trends.
Shifting the focus to Ethereum, the SEC has opted to extend its review of ARK 21Shares’ and VanEck’s applications for spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds. Due to the lack of public comments on these proposals, the SEC has delayed its decision until December 25 and December 26 for VanEck and ARK 21Shares, respectively. This move coincides with Nasdaq’s proposed rule change to list a mixed ETH ETF, combining spot Ether holdings and futures contracts.
The cryptocurrency industry is eagerly awaiting clarification on Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs as the SEC struggles with ETF complications amid political obstacles. BlackRock’s proposal is still the hot topic in this changing environment.