The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently being flooded with applications for Ether futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ProShares has recently filed for an equal-weight Bitcoin and Ether ETF, marking its 11th Ether ETF application in less than a week.
A Wave of Ether-based ETF Applications
In the past seven days, the SEC has received a total of 11 Ether-related ETF filings, all of which have been for futures ETFs. ProShares' latest application (1), submitted on August 3, proposes an ETF that will equally weigh Bitcoin and Ether. As per the filing, the fund will track “the performance of holding long positions in the nearest maturing monthly bitcoin and ether futures contracts.”
James Seyffart, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, states that ProShares has recently lodged four filings for Ether-based ETFs. These include a dual Bitcoin and Ether futures strategy ETF (2), a short Ether strategy ETF (3), and an Ether strategy ETF (4).
The surge in Ether-based ETF applications was triggered by Volatility Shares filing for the Volatility Shares Ether Strategy ETF (5) on July 28. Following suit, Bitwise Asset Management, Roundhill Financial, Van Eck, ProShares, and Grayscale Investments all filed new Ether futures applications on August 1.
SEC Yet to Approve Ether Futures ETF
Despite the increase in Ether futures ETF filings, it is worth noting that the SEC has never approved such an ETF. Bitcoin futures ETFs, on the other hand, have been around since October 2021.
If the SEC does not reject any of the applications, the Ether ETFs will launch 75 days from their respective filing dates, with the Volatility Shares ETF being the first to launch on October 12.
The difference between futures and spot ETF products lies in the fact that the former tracks the price of futures contracts, while the latter involves the issuer purchasing the underlying asset. Spot ETFs are typically seen as more legitimate as they involve the fund manager buying and holding the underlying asset.
First Spot Bitcoin ETF on the Horizon?
The rush of Ether-focused applications follows a series of filings from major asset management firms looking to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs. Notably, BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, is among those seeking to offer the first spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States.