Among the 12 asset managers that want to list spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) in the U.S., only 2 have seen the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delay a decision on their applications.
Now, latecomers Franklin Templeton and Hashdex are approaching their first SEC deadline. Global X, which refiled its ETF application in August, is also due to hear back from the regulator on Friday, November 17.
Among the 3 firms with a deadline on Friday, November 17, 2023, the SEC responded to Hashdex first. In a filing dated November 15, the agency said it would postpone its decision on the firm’s bid to convert its Bitcoin futures fund into a spot ETF until January 1.
With the SEC still due to deliver a verdict on ETF applications by Franklin Templeton and Global X no later than November 17, the fund managers could soon receive the green light to list the first spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US.
However, given its response to Hashdex, most market watchers expect the SEC will opt to kick the can further down the road, as it has done for all such applications so far.
According to leading ETF analyst James Seyffart “there’s a pretty good chance we’ll see delay orders from the SEC.” Nevertheless, he still thinks there is a 90% chance the first Bitcoin fund will receive an approval by the next SEC deadline on January 10.
Syffart pointed to January 10, 2024, as a key date because that’s when the SEC will need to approve or reject Ark Invest’s ETF application. After delaying it twice already, the SEC has now run out of options to postpone the decision any further.
By the end of January, the SEC will also need to deliver a final verdict on submissions from Valkyrie, Fidelity, Bitwise, Invesco, VanEck and Blackrock.
Meanwhile, after Grayscale was handed a crucial victory in the courts, the agency is now seriously engaging with a bid to turn the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF.
But do the looming deadlines mean crypto ETFs are imminent? With the SEC’s legal justification for further objections discredited by the Grayscale win, confidence is high as the end of the year approaches.
In fact, Blackrock has even forged ahead with a second, Ethereum-based ETF application, pushing the price of ETH to a yearly high.
According to Galaxy, Bitcoin ETFs could unlock $38.6B of institutional investment within three years.
Between ETF hype, the Bitcoin halving and the crypto sector’s ongoing recovery from the events of 2022, heading into 2024, many expect the price of Bitcoin to explode.
Although many agree that ETFs will drive billions of dollars of investor’s capital into the Bitcoin market, not everyone is sure about that.
As permanent BTC bear Peter Schiff argued in a recent post, speculative traders who bought the cryptocurrency in expectation of an ETF-fueled price spike could trigger a selloff. “When those buyers sell to take profits, there won’t be many left to buy the ETF.”
However, Schiff’s logic is flawed. The reason all expect the ETFs to unleash a torrent of investment isn’t because existing crypto traders will suddenly start buying Grayscale or Blackrock shares. Rather, the expectation is that new money will flow in from outside the traditional pool of crypto investors.