The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated an earlier-than-expected public comment period for proposed spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs, fueling optimism about their potential approval. The SEC’s move pertains to the proposed Franklin Bitcoin ETF and Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF funds, with analysts speculating on a potential acceleration of the SEC’s timeline for approving a “spotcoin” ETF. Historically, the SEC has expressed concerns over market manipulation and investor protection, leading to denials or delays in approving spotcoin ETFs. However, a landmark lawsuit loss to Grayscale Investments in August prompted closer collaboration with firms, and many believe the SEC might approve multiple applications simultaneously to prevent a first-mover advantage.
The SEC’s decision to initiate a comment period for Hashdex is seen as a move to align applicants for potential approval by January 10, 2024. Franklin Templeton, a firm with around $1.5 trillion in assets under management, filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF in October, and its recent amendment to the prospectus indicates it has addressed SEC’s questions and concerns. The SEC is currently evaluating 13 applications for spot BTC ETFs, and the optimism surrounding their potential approval has contributed to a recent rally in crypto markets.