The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again postponed its decision on whether to approve the country’s first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. Documents released on November 17 reveal that the regulator deferred its decisions on the documents filed by Franklin and Globe X.
The postponement follows delays for other applicants, with both companies submitting their initial applications later than some of their competitors.
The delay in decisions regarding these two Bitcoin ETF spot applications, Franklin and Globe X Bitcoin Trust, contributes to the prevailing uncertainty regarding the approval of these crypto-based investment products.
This development comes amid increased interest in cryptocurrency-based ETFs, exemplified by Fidelity Investments’ recent filing to register its Ethereum spot Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) product with the SEC.
Meanwhile, BitGo CEO Mike Belshe expects more challenges to the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States, highlighting unresolved market structure issues as a significant obstacle.
Crypto bulls regain momentum
Grayscale’s recent legal victory against the SEC in its quest for spot BTC ETF glory has caused notable changes in the market, fostering optimism for Bitcoin and altcoins.
The court’s decision particularly boosted Ripple’s XRP, triggering a significant 6% increase following the decision. Observers have argued that Grayscale’s triumph paves the way for a potential breakthrough in creating the first spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States.
The court’s decision highlighted the SEC’s failure to justify its disparate treatment of Bitcoin futures ETFs and Bitcoin spot ETFs, hinting at a potential shift in the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency investment products.
Grayscale’s legal success has sparked discussions about the prospect of increased institutional participation in the crypto sector. While the immediate impact is positive, ongoing developments in the SEC v. Ripple lawsuit and the broader regulatory framework will continue to shape the course of XRP and the overall cryptocurrency market.
Following these positive developments, Bitcoin (BTC) has seen a nearly 30% rally over the past month. At the time of writing, the world’s largest digital currency is up around 1% in the past 24 hours, trading for $36,662. On a related note, the global crypto market cap stands at $1.44 trillion, representing an increase of 0.7% on the daily time frame, according to CoinGecko.
In 2023 alone, more than a dozen companies have applied for approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, and now several more are applying for similar products tied to ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency.
The regulator has not revealed its position on these recent requests. Previous refusals had raised concerns about market manipulation and the lack of supervisory sharing agreements for Bitcoin.
The candidates argue that these concerns have been resolved or are no longer relevant, particularly after the approval of Bitcoin futures ETFs, a view supported by an appeals court earlier this year. The SEC has not yet made a final decision on these applications, leading to delays.
No ETF Hopes in Sight
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also postponed its decision on Hashdex’s application to transform its current Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) into a spot vehicle. Additionally, the agency also postponed its decision on Grayscale’s proposal to introduce a new Ether ETF based on futures contracts.
Last September, Hashdex and Grayscale filed to convert their respective Bitcoin futures ETFs to spot Bitcoin ETFs. The original deadline for both filings to receive a decision was November 17, but the SEC extended that deadline.