Critical Window of Opportunity Open for Spot Bitcoin ETFs Approval by SEC
Nate Geraci, President of the ETF Store and host of the ETF Prime podcast, has revealed a crucial timeline for the potential approval of spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, the SEC has a narrow window until Friday, November 17 to issue 19b-4 approval orders for a batch of spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval This Week?
Geraci emphasized the significance of the current window, stating, “The spot Bitcoin ETF watch continues! Bloomberg’s James Seyffart explains that a small window is now open where the SEC could issue 19b-4 approval orders.” He highlighted the consensus belief that the SEC would prefer to batch approve spot Bitcoin ETFs to avoid favoritism in a highly competitive market. It is widely believed that the SEC will do so in order to avoid being perceived as playing kingmaker in said market.
The deadline on November 17 is critical, as it precedes a public comment period for filings by issuers such as Hashdex, Franklin Templeton, and Global X. This situation will prevent their inclusion in any immediate batch approval process.
According to Geraci, “This window [to approve all 12 filings] will close on November 17th because that is when issuers who filed later than the others [Hashdex, Franklin Templeton, and Global X] … will enter a public comment period, at which point the SEC simply isn’t going to approve them until that period is over (early January).”
He further clarified the difference between the 19b-4 approval orders and the SEC’s approval of each issuer’s registration statement. The former is a procedural step allowing ETFs to list and trade, while the latter is more significant for the actual launch of these ETFs. “The SEC would still need to approve each issuer’s registration statement (S-1, or S-3 in Grayscale’s case), which is much more important to actual launch timing and likely to come at a later date,” Geraci explained.
Alessandro Ottaviani added further context, noting that the SEC has specific deadlines in its decision-making process. “Till Nov 17 we are in the 8-day window where SEC could approve them (12) all. Nov 17 is the deadline for the latest two applications (Hashdex and Franklin Templeton) and Nov 21 for the 10th ETF application (Global X).” (source)
If the SEC chooses to delay these filings, January 10, 2024 would become the next significant deadline. On this day, the US agency needs to make a decision on the final deadline for Ark Invest’s spot Bitcoin ETF application.
However, as reported last week, the SEC could still approve the other nine ETF filings at any time between now and January 10. This would still be in line with the agency’s strategy of not being a kingmaker.
At press time, BTC traded at $36,932.
*Chart and featured image have been sourced respectively from TradingView.com and Shutterstock.
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