First Mover Americas: SEC Delays Spot Bitcoin ETF Decision for All Applicants

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Sept 1, 2023.

AccessTimeIconSep 1, 2023 at 12:38 p.m. UTC
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed until October a decision on all spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications submitted by firms including BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Wise Origin, VanEck, Bitwise and Valkyrie Digital Assets, according to agency filings on Thursday. The SEC began reviewing the latest slate of applications from both crypto-heavy and traditional finance firms last month. The applicants hope to launch the first spot bitcoin ETF, which advocates have argued will allow for greater retail investment in the bitcoin market while saving investors the trouble of setting up a wallet or having to buy the cryptocurrency directly.

Bitcoin and major tokens gave back all weekly gains as the SEC delayed key ETF decisions that were expected on Friday, damping traders’ hopes of a long-term recovery. The largest cryptocurrency fell under $26,000. In the past 24 hours, majors solana (SOL) and litecoin (LTC) dropped as much as 5.5% while ether (ETH) lost 3.7%. Bitcoin cash (BCH) slid 7.7%. Only tron (TRX) and toncoin (TON) were in the green on Friday, up over 1% each.

A New York court classified popular cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin as "commodities" while dismissing a proposed class action lawsuit against leading decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap in a Wednesday filing. The lawsuit – filed in April 2022 by a group of investors against Uniswap and its creator Hayden Adams – alleged the DeFi platform violated U.S. securities laws by failing to register as an exchange or broker-dealer, offering and soliciting securities on an unregistered exchange. The suit sought to hold Uniswap accountable for investors losing money to “scam tokens” issued and traded on the protocol. The tokens cited in the suit include Ethereum (ERC-20) tokens EthereumMax (EMAX), Bezoge (BEZOGE) and Alphawolf Finance (AWF). But Wednesday's ruling to scrap the suit before it goes to trial stated the true defendants of the case were the issuers of the tokens in question, not Uniswap. While SEC Chief Gary Gensler has so far shied away from calling ETH a security, Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the Southern District of New York directly called it a commodity and declined to "stretch the federal securities laws to cover the conduct alleged," in the case against Uniswap.

Chart of the Day

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  • The chart shows bitcoin's price and the balance held by large holders, or addresses owning 0.1% of supply.
  • These addresses have added over $1.5 billion of bitcoin in the last two weeks.
  • "It's not just large investors that appear to be buying bitcoin, the broader market also appears to be growing on-chain," IntoTheBlock said.
  • Source: IntoTheBlock

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Edited by Stephen Alpher.

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CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.


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