January 25, 2024

SEC Delays Decision on BlackRock Ethereum Spot ETF

The anticipated delay in the SEC's decision on BlackRock's proposed Ethereum spot ETF has been confirmed, aligning with the postponement of Fidelity's similar proposal.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has officially delayed its decision regarding BlackRock's proposed spot ether exchange-traded fund (ETF). The regulatory agency's announcement specifies that the decision on the proposed fund is now expected by March 10.

The delay had been widely expected, especially considering the SEC's recent decision to postpone the evaluation of Fidelity's proposed fund. This development comes shortly after the SEC approved nearly a dozen spot bitcoin ETFs, with three commissioners - Hester Peirce, Mark Uyeda, and Chair Gary Gensler - voting in favor of the ETFs.

After Grayscale's legal victory in August, prompting a reevaluation of its spot bitcoin ETF conversion application, the SEC's stance on ether ETFs remains uncertain.

In a recent interview, Commissioner Peirce indicated that the SEC would base its decisions on spot ether ETFs by applying precedent. She emphasized the agency's intention to avoid repeating history and facing legal challenges to approve such funds.

Despite the cautious optimism expressed by some industry experts, including Seyffart, who sees potential for ether ETFs, others like Lara Crigger, Editor-in-Chief at VettaFi, remain skeptical about the approval timeline. Crigger commented, "I'm not holding my breath" when discussing the possibility of ether ETF approval.

Seyffart, however, maintains a more bullish outlook, asserting that if SEC Chair Gensler decides to address Ethereum (ETH), he would have to contend not only with industry players but also with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Seyffart suggests that the complexity of such a scenario might dissuade Gensler from pursuing stringent regulations.

It's noteworthy that, following the approval of bitcoin ETFs, Chair Gensler emphasized that the decision did not signal the SEC's readiness to approve listing standards for crypto asset securities.

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