- The SEC delays decisions on spot Bitcoin ETF proposals, affecting major firms like BlackRock, Invesco, and Bitwise.
- These delays arrive ahead of schedule and are linked to concerns about a potential government shutdown on October 1.
- The SEC previously delayed spot Bitcoin ETF applications in late August, creating uncertainty in the crypto market.
- The third set of deadlines for these ETF proposals is in mid-January, but further delays are possible.
- Despite the delays, industry experts remain optimistic about the eventual approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF, with odds on the rise.
SEC’s Surprise Delay: Major Bitcoin ETF Applications Postponed
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a delay in its decision regarding several proposals for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), casting a shadow of uncertainty over industry giants like BlackRock, Invesco, and Bitwise. This delay comes amidst growing concerns of an impending government shutdown.
The SEC has postponed the spot Bitcoin ETF applications of major players including Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie, as confirmed by separate filings on September 28. Industry experts speculate that the applications from Fidelity, VanEck, and WisdomTree may also face delays as the securities regulator navigates the complex landscape of crypto ETF approvals.
What makes these delays even more significant is their premature arrival, occurring two weeks ahead of the scheduled second deadline for numerous applicants. Previously, these applicants had anticipated a response from the securities regulator between October 16 and 19. The abrupt timing of these delays is closely linked to the looming threat of a U.S. government shutdown, which, if it occurs, will disrupt the functioning of key financial regulators and federal agencies.
The impending government shutdown stems from the ongoing inability of both chambers of Congress—the House and Senate—to reach a consensus on various funding bills required to finance government operations. To avert a shutdown, Congress must pass 12 separate full-year funding bills by October 1. Failure to do so could have far-reaching consequences for the financial sector.
This is not the first time the SEC has deferred its decision on spot Bitcoin ETF applicants. In late August, as the initial deadline approached, the SEC postponed a cluster of applications, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty in the crypto market.
Looking ahead, the third set of deadlines for the seven firms involved in these ETF proposals is set for around mid-January. However, given the recent delays, there is a possibility that these deadlines may also be pushed back. Ultimately, the SEC must arrive at a final decision no later than mid-March.
Crypto Industry Optimism: The Road to Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval
Despite the uncertainty, industry sentiment surrounding the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF remains optimistic. In late August, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas estimated a 75% probability of approval by the end of 2023, up from an earlier 65%. This shift in sentiment was primarily attributed to the decisive ruling by the U.S.
Court of Appeals Circuit in Grayscale’s favour over the SEC. Balchunas even suggested that the odds could soar to 95% by the end of 2024, an indication of growing confidence in the inevitability of a spot Bitcoin ETF.