The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a delay in its decision on various Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) until May 2024. The regulatory filings made on December 18 revealed the extension for the Hashdex Nasdaq Ethereum ETF and the Grayscale Ethereum Futures ETF. The Hashdex Ether ETF is designed to encompass spot Ether and futures contracts, while Grayscale's Ethereum Futures ETF is viewed as a strategic move to pave the way for Grayscale to convert its Ethereum Trust into a spot Ethereum ETF.
Public Input and Regulatory Proceedings:
The SEC cited the initiation of proceedings that involve gathering additional public input as the reason for the delay. This extension is seen as an opportunity for the public to express opinions on whether the ETFs in question should be listed. The decision was anticipated, with Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart noting that such delays were expected before December 25. The final date for the SEC to make a decision on these ETFs is set for late May 2024.
Focus on Spot Bitcoin ETFs:
While the SEC has previously approved Ethereum futures ETFs, it has not yet given the green light to a spot or mixed-type product. The market is currently focused on the potential approval of 13 spot Bitcoin ETFs, with analysts predicting a decision as early as January 10. Both Bloomberg ETF analysts, James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas, estimate a 90% likelihood of approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF. This optimism has contributed to a surge in institutional interest in Bitcoin, with its price experiencing more than a 44% increase in the last six months.
Market Sentiment and Price Movements:
The delay in Ethereum ETF decisions comes amid a market backdrop where investors eagerly await regulatory clarity. The price of Bitcoin has witnessed significant growth, and Ether, though with slightly less substantial gains, has still seen a notable increase of 16.8% in the same time frame. As the SEC navigates the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency ETFs, the market remains attuned to potential developments that could shape institutional access to these digital assets.