The Decisive Moments: U.S. SEC Confronts Crucial Bitcoin ETF Decisions

CryptoMode Bitcoin ETF SEC Deadline

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is on the cusp of pivotal decisions. Seven key spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications hang in the balance. A significant date looms on September 4, following a noteworthy loss to Grayscale Investments in a U.S. appellate court.

A Race Against Time

Bitwise, a renowned investment entity, eagerly anticipates the SEC’s verdict on September 1. Following closely, giants like BlackRock, VanEck, Fidelity, Invesco, and Wisdomtree mark September 2 on their calendars, as revealed by multiple SEC filings. Valkyrie, too, is bracing for a response by September 4.

A landmark judgment occurred on August 29. The U.S. Court of Appeals decreed the SEC’s dismissal of Grayscale’s bid to morph its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF as being “unduly arbitrary.” Yet, James Seyffart, Bloomberg’s ETF analyst, points out this doesn’t guarantee a green light for Grayscale—or any forthcoming applicants.

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In a candid Bloomberg conversation on August 29, Seyffart conveyed that while Grayscale’s triumph certainly enhances the chances for subsequent applicants, the future remains uncertain. The SEC, known for its deliberation, can postpone its decisions. Moreover, it has the leverage of two additional proposed deadlines per fund before an inevitable 240th-day post-filing resolution.

For those on tenterhooks, the SEC’s ultimate deadlines extend to mid-March of the upcoming year.

What Lies Ahead for Bitcoin ETF Candidates? 

Grayscale’s favorable August 29 verdict bestows upon the regulator a 90-day window. During this period, the SEC may either contest the ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court or petition for a more comprehensive en banc review. That mechanism allows a full circuit court to overrule a decision made by a trio of judges.

The SEC’s subsequent course of action remains shrouded in mystery. Should it opt against an appeal, the court’s directive would be crucial. It might mandate the SEC to green-light Grayscale’s proposal or, minimally, reevaluate it.

According to Seyffart, the regulator essentially confronts a dual-path scenario. First, acknowledge the setback and authorize Grayscale’s GBTC-to-Bitcoin spot ETF transition. Or, secondly, pursue a more aggressive route: rescind the listings of Bitcoin futures ETFs in their entirety or repudiate Grayscale’s bid, presenting a fresh perspective.

However, a novel stance appears improbable. Adopting it could further undermine the SEC’s delicate stance on digital currencies.

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