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Accelerated Developments in Ether ETF Filings, Yet Approval Remains Uncertain

ByDayne Lee

May 21, 2024
Accelerated Developments in Ether ETF Filings, Yet Approval Remains Uncertain

Accelerated Developments in Ether ETF Filings, Yet Approval Remains Uncertain

Stock exchanges aiming to list and trade shares of spot ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been promptly instructed by regulators to update their key filings. This sudden regulatory activity suggests a potential shift towards approving these ETF applications.

Urgent Requests from the SEC

According to sources familiar with the matter, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expedited requests for updates to Form 19b-4 filings. This unexpected acceleration ahead of a critical deadline this Thursday implies that the SEC might be preparing to approve these ETF applications. However, it’s essential to note that approval of 19b-4 filings does not guarantee the launch of the ETFs, as issuers also require approval of their S-1 applications, which could face indefinite delays.

Insights from Industry Experts

Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart recently adjusted their projections, increasing the likelihood of a spot ether ETF approval from 25% to 75% based on positive shifts in the SEC’s stance. They later clarified that their updated probability specifically referred to the 19b-4 filings, not the final approval of the ETFs themselves. A decision on the VanEck spot ether ETF is anticipated by May 23rd.

The Question of Ether as a Security

The SEC’s investigation into whether ether qualifies as a security has intensified since Ethereum’s transition from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. The classification of ether as a security could significantly impact the approval process for spot ether ETFs.

Prometheum, a special purpose broker, recently announced the soft launch of its ether custody service. This move is part of a broader plan to eventually offer custody and trading services for digital assets, particularly those recognized as securities in the U.S., rather than commodities.

DateEventImpact on Approval Process
May 19SEC requests accelerated updates to 19b-4 filingsIndicates potential readiness for approval
May 20Bloomberg analysts revise approval oddsReflects increased optimism in regulatory stance
May 23Expected decision on VanEck spot ether ETFFinal decision could set precedent for future approvals
OngoingSEC investigates ether’s security statusCritical factor in determining the viability of ETFs

The possibility of the SEC approving spot ether ETFs has stirred various reactions within the financial and crypto markets:

  • Investor Optimism: The market has shown signs of optimism, reflected in slight increases in ether’s price in anticipation of potential approvals.
  • Regulatory Caution: Despite the positive sentiment, there remains a cautious approach from the SEC, which is diligently assessing the broader implications of such ETFs on market stability and investor protection.

The swift updates to the regulatory filings for ether ETFs signify a potentially significant development in the cryptocurrency and financial markets. However, the ultimate approval of these ETFs hinges on a complex interplay of regulatory scrutiny, market dynamics, and the evolving nature of digital assets. As the deadline approaches, all eyes will be on the SEC’s final decision, which will undoubtedly influence the trajectory of ether and potentially reshape the landscape of cryptocurrency investments.


Featured image credit: Linh Nguyen via Vietnam Insider

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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