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SEC Chair Gary Gensler Signals Delays in Ethereum ETF Approval

Highlights:

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler hints at delays in approving Ethereum ETFs due to extended S-1 form reviews.
  • Financial giants like BlackRock and VanEck have filed S-1 forms, indicating strong market demand for Ethereum ETFs.
  • SEC’s careful review process may delay Ethereum ETFs, contrasting with the quicker approval of Bitcoin ETFs.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has indicated that the approval process for Ethereum ETFs will involve extended timelines, suggesting a careful and thorough review of the necessary S-1 forms. This statement comes after the recent approval of 19b-4 forms, highlighting a potentially prolonged phase to finalize S-1 forms essential for the ETFs to commence trading.

Gensler’s Remarks on S-1 Approval Process

In a recent CNBC interview, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler provided insights into the expected timeline for reviewing the spot Ethereum ETF S-1 reports. Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terrett relayed that the review process is anticipated to be lengthy, possibly causing delays in the approval of Ethereum ETFs.

Gensler stated that further steps for the Ethereum ETF approval are not imminent. This announcement follows the SEC’s instructions for issuers to submit their draft S-1 filings by last Friday. The SEC will now provide initial feedback, prompting more changes. Industry insiders expect this iterative process to take several weeks or even months.

Financial Institutions’ Preparedness

Key financial institutions like VanEck and BlackRock have already filed updated S-1 forms following the 19b-4 form approvals on May 23. BlackRock elaborated that its ETF would initially have $10 million in assets, showcasing its readiness and the capital support for these strategies.

The SEC’s detailed review process indicates a prudent approach to regulating these financial instruments. The longer review period implies detailed consideration, which might be attributed to the intricate structure of the underlying assets and potential regulatory challenges.

Companies like BlackRock have acted swiftly, demonstrating strong market demand and readiness among established financial entities to embrace these new investment vehicles. Conversely, the withdrawal of proposals by firms like Hashdex highlights varying levels of preparedness and strategic repositioning within the industry.

Ethereum vs. Bitcoin ETFs

Compared to the relatively straightforward path of Bitcoin ETF approvals, the altcoin landscape appears more complex. While unanimous approval would mark a pivotal moment for the market, recent events have created uncertainty. For example, Hashdex’s withdrawal of its application for undisclosed reasons has left market participants questioning the overall trajectory of Ethereum ETFs.

Attention now shifts to the SEC’s stance on the crypto market and ongoing developments in Bitcoin ETFs. Traditional financial markets’ liquidity is significantly greater than cryptocurrency, which might influence investors’ risk preferences and willingness to switch to altcoins.

The 19b-4 approvals for spot Ether ETFs came about five months after similar approvals for spot Bitcoin ETFs, a first for the industry. Prior to Gensler’s comments, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas had predicted a July 4 launch date for the spot Ether ETFs.

Unlike spot Bitcoin ETFs, the decision to approve spot Ether ETFs was made by the SEC’s Trading and Markets Division rather than through a vote by the five commissioners. Gensler, expected to serve as SEC chair until 2026, did not specify an exact timeline for the final approvals.

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