SEC delays set deadlines for Bitcoin ETF approval to early 2024

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been delaying decisions on spot cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications, with some firms potentially waiting until March 2024 for a verdict on filings made in July 2023. Despite the numerous applications over the years, the SEC has not approved any spot Bitcoin ETF proposals in the U.S. The only acceptance has been for investment vehicles linked to BTC futures, which started in October 2021.

In June, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm, submitted its Bitcoin ETF application, sparking renewed interest among investors. Following this, BlackRock entered a “surveillance-sharing agreement” with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, hinting at the possibility of the SEC being more receptive to ETF applications under such conditions.

Other notable firms with crypto ETF applications awaiting SEC’s decision include ARK Invest, Bitwise Asset Management, VanEck, WisdomTree, Invesco, Galaxy Digital, Fidelity, and Valkyrie. Given the SEC’s authority to delay ETF applications for up to 240 days, the final decision for ARK’s Bitcoin ETF is expected in January 2024, while other firms might have to wait until March 2024.

ETF Newz Says:

One of the primary challenges for the SEC’s approval of a spot crypto ETF is the nature of the investment vehicle itself. While Bitcoin futures-linked ETFs allow investments in the crypto asset without an exchange, a spot BTC ETF would involve direct investment by holding Bitcoin within a fund.

The crypto market’s nature in the U.S., which is regulated but calls for more clarity and oversight, might also be influencing the SEC’s hesitancy. The SEC is currently involved in enforcement cases against major crypto players like Coinbase, Binance, and Ripple.

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