Sunday Newsletter

Explore the latest trends, gain valuable insights, and stay informed in the dynamic cryptocurrency ecosystem.

30 June 2024

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed the anticipated launch of spot Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) following comments on the S-1 forms submitted by prospective issuers. The SEC has requested resubmissions by July 8, which could push the launch date to mid-to-late July.

Launch Pushed to Mid-July or Later

Initially expected as early as July 2, the launch of U.S.-based spot Ether ETFs has been postponed. Bloomberg ETF analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart indicated that the SEC’s extended review period for the S-1 forms is the cause of the delay. The new timeline suggests that these ETFs might not debut until mid-July or later.

SEC Comments on S-1 Forms

The SEC’s request for revised S-1 forms by July 8 means that the introduction of spot Ethereum ETFs is now projected for mid-to-late July. Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, mentioned that the latest round of S-1 revisions were minor. He anticipates that the SEC will approve issuers for trading within 14-21 days, although the precise timeline remains uncertain. Nonetheless, the SEC has suggested a potential summer launch.

Two-Step Approval Process

The approval of S-1 forms represents the second step in a two-part process required for the ETFs to go live. The initial step involved the approval of the issuers’ 19b-4 forms in May, with the SEC approving filings from eight ETF bidders on May 23. Unlike the 19b-4 forms, the S-1 forms lack a specific deadline, making issuers dependent on the SEC’s review timeline.

On June 26, SEC Chair Gary Gensler confirmed that the approval process for spot Ether ETFs is progressing smoothly. The SEC has approved a rule change enabling major issuers such as BlackRock, Fidelity, 21Shares, Grayscale, Franklin Templeton, VanEck, iShares, and Invesco to participate in the process. Additionally, issuers like VanEck have filed 8-A forms to prepare for listing on exchanges by July 8.

However, Gensler noted that the listing of spot Ether ETFs on stock exchanges might take months, potentially extending into September. He emphasized that the timeline depends entirely on the applicants’ response times.