US Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval Looms Near As Applicants Submit Last Forms

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Key Takeaways

  • 11 applicants have filed for 19b-4 amendments on January 5
  •  Experts speculate that final approval for spot Bitcoin ETFs may be granted before January 10.

With the deadline looming for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make a decision on spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), there’s a flurry of activity among 11 applicants who have submitted 19b-4 amendment forms. The discussions on final wording changes for the ETF filings took place on Friday, involving investment management firms, stock exchanges, and the SEC.

The potential approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs could usher in a new era where individuals can directly purchase Bitcoin from the stock market, bypassing the need for crypto exchanges or brokers. This development, while not addressing all challenges in the crypto space, holds promise for both institutional and retail investors.

Major players, including BlackRock, Valkyrie, Grayscale, Bitwise, Hashdex, ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, VanEck, and WisdomTree, filed 19b-4 amendments on January 5. These amendments signify a critical step in the SEC approval process, with the completion of S-1 documents required for U.S. exchanges to list shares of investment securities with direct crypto exposure.

Industry watchers speculate that final approval for spot Bitcoin ETFs may be granted before January 10. Ongoing discussions between issuers and SEC officials have fueled optimism, and some issuers anticipate receiving final approval for their S-1 filings by late Tuesday or Wednesday.

While the SEC has requested “minor” changes, such as disclosures of fees or the identities of market-makers for the ETFs, these adjustments are expected to be completed by Monday morning. Despite this positive momentum, a recent Matrixport report casts doubt on the approval of all Bitcoin spot ETFs in January.

The report points out that a crucial requirement for SEC approval remains unfulfilled. Despite frequent meetings and application refilings, meeting this requirement may not happen until Q2 2024. This leaves the fate of spot Bitcoin ETFs uncertain, with the industry anxiously awaiting the SEC’s decision in the weeks ahead.

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Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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