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Is Today the Day? The Latest on Spot Bitcoin ETFs

Last Updated January 5, 2024 11:43 AM
James Morales
Last Updated January 5, 2024 11:43 AM

Key Takeaways

  • One way or another, the SEC will have to either approve or reject Ark Invest’s spot Bitcoin ETF application by January 10.
  • Some analysts have speculated that approval could come as early as Friday, January 5.
  • Breaking with the general trend, Matrixport has predicted that the SEC will reject all ETF applications this month.

For anyone who has been following the saga of spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) applications in the US, a crucial deadline is fast approaching. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has until January 10 to either approve or reject an application to list the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF on the Cboe BZX Exchange. 

In recent days, prospective ETF issuers have submitted the final documents needed to register securities for listing. With all the necessary paperwork now filed, there is nothing left to do but wait. 

Crypto World Holds its Breath as ETF Issuers Await SEC Announcement

Citing “sources close to the proceedings”, Fox Business has reported that the SEC could begin notifying issuers of approval on Friday. 

According to the report, SEC staff attorneys from the Division of Trading and Markets met with officials from the major exchanges where the proposed ETFs would trade on Wednesday, indicating that final preparations for approval have been taking place behind the scenes this week.

However, the Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, who has become a leading voice in Bitcoin ETF speculation thanks to his connections at the SEC and various asset managers, is sticking to his guns. As he has for the past month or so, Seyffart continues to predict an official announcement confirming ETF approvals between the 8 and 10 of January. 

Matrixport Analyst Predicts SEC Rejection

While Seyffart and his colleague Eric Balchunas have said there is a 90% chance that the SEC will approve spot Bitcoin ETFs by January 10, other analysts aren’t so certain.

In an analyst’s note  circulated on Tuesday,  crypto services platform Matrixport’s head of research Markus Thielen argued that predictions of a looming ETF approval may have underestimated the strength of SEC Commissioners’ dislike of crypto in general. 

Observing that any decision that would benefit the wider crypto industry would be out of character for SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, Thielen wrote that expecting him to vote to approve spot Bitcoin ETFs could be “a very long shot.”

He argued that even after recent amendments, the various ETF applications still fall short of the SEC’s strict requirements. As such, Thielen predicted that the agency would reject all current proposals in January.

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