SEC Delays Decision on BlackRock’s Spot Ethereum ETF to May
The SEC Continues with a Familiar Approach
An all too familiar pattern emerges in the process of Spot Ethereum ETF applications. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) led by crypto’s most controversial figure Gary Gensler, appears to be stalling these applications – what a surprise. After the SEC delayed Fidelity’s application until March 5, the regulator announced a delay for BlackRock’s application in a January 24, filing.
After the many months of delays with the Spot Bitcoin ETFs maybe it shouldn’t be surprising the SEC is going down this path.
On November 21, 2023, Nasdaq submitted a proposal to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list and trade shares of the iShares Ethereum Trust under a specific rule. This proposal was made public on December 11, 2023, without receiving any comments. Originally, the SEC had 45 days from the notice’s publication to decide on the proposal, with an option to extend up to 90 days. The SEC has chosen to use this extension, setting March 10, 2024, as the new deadline to approve, disapprove, or further examine the proposed rule change.
The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised therein.
Expect Delays – Expert Says
Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart said more delays are expected. In his opinion we will see further pushback by the SEC, with May 23, being the next important date.
There are some expectations that the Spot ETF should be approved based on previous Futures ETF approvals. It’s fair to say though, this doesn’t automatically translate to an obligation to approve all subsequent Ethereum-related products, such as the direct listing of Ethereum ETFs. There is also no legal precedent which binds the SEC to treat all Ethereum-related products the same way.