Hashdex filed to convert its bitcoin futures ETF into a spot bitcoin ETF in September. Grayscale (a subsidiary of CoinDesk parent Digital Currency Group) filed for its ether futures ETF that same month. Both filings faced initial deadlines of Nov. 17 for a decision, but the SEC today said it was extending this window, according to a pair of Wednesday filings.
The delays come amid heightened anticipation of a spot bitcoin ETF approval by the federal regulator, which has so far rejected every attempt to list such a product for the general investing public. Over a dozen companies have filed to launch spot bitcoin ETFs in 2023, with several others now applying for similar products exposed to ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
The regulator has yet to indicate how it might ultimately rule on the latest slate of applicants. Previous rejections raised concerns about the susceptibility of bitcoin to market manipulation and a lack of surveillance-sharing agreements, among other concerns. Applicants now say these concerns have been addressed or are no longer relevant after the approval of bitcoin futures ETFs, a view an appeals court echoed earlier this year. The SEC has so far delayed making final decisions on these applications.
Today's delays don't seem to be putting a dent in the price of bitcoin (BTC), which has moved higher by more than 5% this afternoon to $37,500.
Franklin Templeton, another bitcoin ETF applicant, also faces a Nov. 17 deadline, while other companies will not see any further decisions until 2024.
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