Final Amendments Due: The Latest in the Bitcoin ETF Saga

By Aaron Feuerstein December 27, 2023 In Bitcoin, ETF, SEC
  • The SEC has set a December 29 deadline for final amendments to Spot Bitcoin ETF applications.
  • Market anticipation is high for a potential mass approval by January 10, impacting major companies like BlackRock and Grayscale Investments.
  • The SEC’s latest requirement for Bitcoin ETF filers to identify their authorised participants (AP) and switch from “in-kind” redemptions to “cash creates” is seen as a final hurdle.
  • Compliance is likely leading to approval; a situation Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas has dubbed the ‘ETF Cointucky Derby.’

December 29 Deadline Approaching Fast

Anyone following the recent developments around the Spot Bitcoin ETF applications filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would know that the market expects approval of the first ETF by January 10. Bloomberg analysts believe the approval will come for all at once to avoid the SEC being a king maker – because first out of the gate is likely to get most traction.

The SEC has set a December 29 deadline for final submissions from companies, including BlackRock, Grayscale Investments, ARK Investments, and 21 Shares, for their spot bitcoin ETF applications, indicating that those not meeting this deadline may miss out on the potential first wave of approvals in early January.

Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terrett was among the first to report this update, confirming the filing date and stating that,

The SEC has told issuers that applications that are fully finished and filed by Friday will be considered in the first wave. Anyone who is not will not be considered. In addition, the filings cannot mention in-kind creation or they will be rejected.

Eleanor Terrett

“AP agreement + cash creates = approval”

This development follows recent debates regarding ‘in-kind’ versus ‘cash creates’ ETFs. The SEC recently held a unique conference call with major applicants for spot Bitcoin ETFs, including prominent firms like BlackRock and Grayscale. The key issue discussed was the SEC’s requirement for all spot Bitcoin ETFs to eliminate “in-kind” redemptions from their filings and to implement “cash creates” only. After extensive discussions, BlackRock and other institutions have complied with the SEC’s terms.


In the latest twist, the SEC now requires Bitcoin ETF filers to identify their authorised participants (AP). Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas believes this to be one of the final hurdles in what he nicknamed ‘ETF Cointucky Derby.”

Latest snapshot of The ETF Cointucky Derby w new column for “AP Agreement” as SEC wants AP (who is also underwriter) named in next S-1 update (coming in next 10 days). This is no easy last step, and may keep some from starting gate. AP agreement + cash creates = approval.

Eric Balchunas
Source: Bloomberg,

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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