Bitcoin Spot ETFs in the US May Simultaneously Receive Approvals
The potential approval of Bitcoin (BTC) spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States has been given a “clear runway” after the delay in the bids of Franklin Templeton and Hashdex ETFs. Analysts believe that these delays are strategic moves by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to align all applicants for potential approval by the January 10, 2024 deadline.
In a recent Twitter post, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart stated that the SEC delayed its decision on the applications 34 days earlier than the decision deadline of January 1, 2024. The SEC has requested comments on forms by Templeton and Hashdex, which are crucial for the ETFs to be listed and start trading. The comment and rebuttal period will last for 35 days.
Seyffart and his colleague Eric Balchunas had previously placed 90% odds on spot Bitcoin ETF approvals by January 10, 2024. The delays in the Franklin Templeton and Hashdex bids further support this prediction. Balchunas also noted on Twitter that the SEC was likely clearing the way for simultaneous approvals by delaying these applications.
However, commercial litigator Joe Carlasare believes that the delays may increase the probability of a March 2024 approval. The comment period for Franklin’s ETF bid has been extended until January 3, 2024, and the SEC typically takes a maximum of three weeks to review comments. Despite this, Carlasare still believes that January is the favorite for approval.
On November 28, Franklin submitted an updated Form S-1 for its ETF, which registers securities with the SEC. Balchunas expressed his opinion that while he supports a simultaneous launch for all ETFs, it seems unfair that Franklin may be allowed to launch its ETF on the same day as other providers despite submitting the form months later.
The SEC currently has 12 spot Bitcoin ETFs under consideration, including proposals from Grayscale and BlackRock. Most of these ETFs have final decision dates in March, except for ARK Invest’s bid, which must be approved or denied by January 10, 2024.