In a recent development, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again deferred a crucial decision on whether to greenlight the first-ever U.S. exchange-traded fund (ETF) directly investing in Bitcoin. The delay comes amidst increasing speculation within the crypto community that approval might be imminent.
Hashdex’s ETF Conversion Deferred
The SEC’s latest postponement pertains to a filing from Hashdex, seeking to convert its existing Bitcoin futures ETF into a spot fund. A document released on the SEC’s official website on Wednesday confirmed the regulatory body’s decision to defer the matter.
Hashdex’s application, initially submitted in September, had a deadline of November 17 for the SEC’s response. However, the commission has chosen to push the decision into 2024, a tactic previously employed with other ETF applicants.
James Seyffart, an ETF analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, commented on the delay, stating, “It’s really not that surprising; the SEC goes early on decisions like this fairly frequently.” The SEC’s action was not limited to Hashdex, as it also deferred Grayscale’s attempt to launch a new Ether futures ETF.
In 2023, over a dozen companies have filed applications to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs, with several others seeking approval for similar products tied to Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
As of now, the SEC has not hinted at how it might ultimately rule on the recent wave of ETF applicants. Past rejections raised concerns about the susceptibility of Bitcoin to market manipulation and the absence of surveillance-sharing agreements, among other issues.
However, applicants argue that these concerns have been adequately addressed, especially in the wake of the approval of Bitcoin futures ETFs. This perspective aligns with a recent opinion from an appeals court earlier this year. Despite this, the SEC has continued to postpone final decisions on these applications.
Interestingly, the market’s response to the latest delays has been somewhat unexpected. The price of Bitcoin (BTC) appears unaffected, surging by more than 5% this afternoon and reaching $37,500.
While the SEC’s decisions continue to loom large over the crypto landscape, market participants are left in anticipation, eagerly awaiting a resolution that could significantly impact the future of cryptocurrency investment products in the U.S.
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