Grayscale Withdraws Ether Futures ETF Application Ahead of SEC Decision


Grayscale, a major cryptocurrency asset manager, has made a surprising decision to withdraw its application for an Ether (ETH) futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), just three weeks before the scheduled decision date by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The notice of withdrawal for the Grayscale Ethereum Futures Trust was filed with the SEC on May 7, marking an unexpected turn in the process. The SEC was initially set to make a final decision on Grayscale’s Ether futures ETF on May 30.

Grayscale Withdraws Applications

Grayscale had originally filed its 19b-4 application for the Ether futures ETF on Sept. 19, 2023, with plans for it to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange upon approval.

Initially, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart speculated that Grayscale might be strategically using its Ether futures ETF as a “trojan horse” to influence the SEC’s decision on its spot Ether ETF. However, he expressed confusion about the withdrawal, especially considering that the SEC will soon decide on at least one spot Ether ETF application on May 23.

25% Changes of Spot ETH ETF Approval

Seyffart and fellow Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas had previously estimated a 25% chance of spot Ether ETF approval on May 23, down from 70% in January.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler, in a May 7 interview with CNBC, suggested that the SEC is still in the process of considering its decision on spot Ether ETFs. He stated, “That’s something in front of our Commission right now, we’re a five-member Commission, and those filings will take up at the appropriate time.”

SEC to Make Decisions on ETFs by May 23

The SEC is required to make a decision on VanEck’s application by May 23, with ARK 21Shares and Hashdex having final deadlines on May 24 and May 30, respectively.

While applications from Grayscale, Invesco Galaxy, BlackRock, and Fidelity are scheduled for June, July, and August, many industry analysts expect the SEC to decide on most, if not all, applicants simultaneously, similar to its approach with spot Bitcoin ETFs in January.

Grayscale Spot BTC ETF Sees Inflows

After weeks of outflows, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) finally saw its first inflow worth a staggering $63 million on May 3, ending a challenging 78-day stretch of outflows. Notably, The ETF’s reversal in fortunes is seen as a positive development.

It is important to note that Zach Pandl, the managing director of research at Grayscale, believes that store of value assets like Bitcoin (BTC) will remain in high demand due to ongoing government overspending and high interest rates in the United States.

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