The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has seemingly sped up the timeline for Spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) applications. The agency is now actively seeking public input regarding Bitcoin ETF approvals.
SEC has opened public comments specifically on the ETF applications submitted by Franklin Templeton, a trillion-dollar asset manager, and Hashdex, a digital asset-native firm.
The SEC had the option to delay this decision for an additional 31 days, until January 1, 2024. This action shows that the SEC is taking a proactive stance. It could be paving the way for a decision on Bitcoin ETFs in January.
SEC Now Seeking Comments
According to SEC’s November 28 filings, the regulator is seeking new commentary for its review of these Bitcoin ETF proposals. It commences the proceedings to assess the approval or denial of these Spot ETFs.
Analysts suggest that the SEC made a decision sooner than anticipated. The decision involves delaying the evaluation of Franklin Templeton and Hashdex ETFs. They believe this move signals a favorable environment, specifically for the potential approval of these ETFs happening simultaneously.
Analysts Look Forward to January 10
Renowned Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart notes that the SEC’s decision delay, 34 days ahead of the Jan. 1, 2024, deadline, aligns with the speculated 90% odds of spot Bitcoin ETF approvals by Jan. 10, 2024.
Seyffart and colleague Eric Balchunas interpret these twin delays as a strategic move by the regulator to position all applicants for potential approval by the January 10, 2024 deadline.
Notably, on November 28, Franklin submitted an updated Form S-1 for its Spot ETF, registering securities with the SEC. While Seyffart applauds the idea of simultaneous ETF launches, Balchunas raises concerns. He cites fairness, questioning Franklin’s ability to launch on the same day as other providers despite delayed form submission. He stated:
“While I’m generally in favor of letting them launch at the same time, Franklin jumped in so late vs. others, like five months after ARK Invest filed, and yet they may be able to launch the same day. It seems kind of unfair, but I suppose the SEC can’t really draw any lines here.”
On the other hand, commercial litigator Joe Carlasare highlights that the SEC generally takes a maximum of three weeks to review comments. He implies that the extended comment period, until January 3, 2024, could slightly increase the likelihood of a March 2024 approval. However, he notes that “January is still likely the favorite.”
SEC’s Decision on Bitcoin ETF Approval
Most ETFs have final decision dates in March 2024. This is except for ARK Invest’s bid, that has a Jan 10 2024 deadline for decision.
Speculation is circulating about regulatory approvals, especially regarding possibility of Bitcoin ETF approval on January 10. This speculation has greatly affected market sentiment, causing the BTC price to reach $38,000. Investors and traders share optimism regarding how clear regulations could positively impact Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption and legitimacy.