SEC Greenlights Spot Ether ETFs in Landmark Decision


In a significant move for the cryptocurrency industry, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the listing and trading of spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This approval, detailed in a May 23 filing, marks the SEC’s second major endorsement of cryptocurrency ETFs this year, following the earlier approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in January.

The SEC’s decision greenlights the 19b-4 filings from several major asset management firms, including VanEck, BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, Franklin Templeton, ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, and Bitwise. 

SEC Grants Listing of ETH ETFs

These approvals authorize rule changes that will allow these firms to list and trade spot Ether ETFs on their respective exchanges. This move comes despite ongoing speculation about whether the SEC might classify Ether as a security.

However, while the 19b-4 filings have been approved, the ETF issuers must still secure approval for their S-1 registration statements before the spot Ether ETFs can officially commence trading. Industry analysts suggest that this final step could take anywhere from days to months. 

Notably, the SEC had urged applicants to expedite their 19b-4 filings as of May 20. A significant amendment observed across several filings is the removal of staking provisions.

Hashdex ETF Application is Absent

Conspicuously absent from the SEC approval list is Hashdex’s spot Ether ETF application. Hashdex’s investment vehicle faced a final deadline of May 30, which was ahead of other firms like Grayscale, Invesco Galaxy, BlackRock, and Fidelity. It remains uncertain whether the SEC will ultimately approve Hashdex’s ETF.

The SEC’s approval of spot Ether ETFs coincides with the United States House of Representatives’ recent passage of the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act. 

This legislation, which aims to provide clearer regulatory guidelines for the cryptocurrency industry, seeks to delineate the responsibilities of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). However, the bill must still pass the Senate and be signed into law.

Approval of BTC ETFs in January

The approval of spot Ether ETFs comes just four and a half months after the SEC’s landmark approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs on January 10. This approval was a historic first for the industry, setting a precedent for subsequent cryptocurrency ETFs. 

Following the SEC’s announcement, the price of Ether surged to over $3,900, according to data from CMC. 

The SEC and Crypto ETFs

The SEC’s endorsement of spot Ether ETFs signifies a crucial step towards mainstream acceptance and regulatory clarity for digital assets. By approving these ETFs, the SEC acknowledges the evolving landscape of the cryptocurrency market and the increasing demand for regulated investment vehicles. 

This decision is expected to have a significant impact on the broader adoption and integration of cryptocurrencies within traditional financial markets.

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