SEC pushes decision on BlackRock’s spot Ethereum ETF to March

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The United States securities regulator has pushed back its decision on BlackRock’s proposed spot Ether (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF) a day ahead of the deadline, citing the need for more time to review the proposed rule change.

“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change,” the Securities and Exchange Commission’s assistant secretary, Sherry Haywood, explained in a Jan. 24 filing.

The SEC made the delay one day ahead of the Jan. 25 deadline. It is the first of several delays the SEC can exercise across a 240-day period. This first deadline comes nearly 45 days after Nasdaq filed for an iShares Ethereum Trust (on BlackRock’s behalf) on Dec. 11.

While the SEC must make a final decision on BlackRock’s spot Ether ETF decision by Aug. 7, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas has predicted a final decision will be made on all pending spot Ether ETFs in May — similar to the way the SEC decided on 10 pending spot Bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 10.

VanEck and Ark 21Shares’ Ether ETF applications have a final decision deadline of May 23 and May 24, respectively, while the other three applicants — Grayscale Investments, Invesco Galaxy and Fidelity — Investments have final deadlines on June 18, July 5 and Aug. 3, respectively.

“Next date that matters is May 23rd,” said fellow Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart on Jan. 24, adding that he expects to see more spot Ether ETF delays “sporadically” over the next few months.

Earlier this month, Balchunas pegged the chances of a spot Ether ETF approval at 70% by May.

Related: SEC solicits comments on Fidelity’s spot Ether ETF application

One of the SEC’s commissioners, Hester “Crypto Mom” Peirce, recently assured applicants that a court battle won’t be necessary to convince the SEC to approve the spot Ether ETFs.

“We shouldn’t need a court to tell us that our approach is ‘arbitrary and capricious’ in order for us to get it right.”

However, other industry pundits are less optimistic.

Morgan Creek Capital CEO Mark Yusko predicts a less than 50% chance of an approved spot Ether ETF, making the case that the SEC remains hostile toward the cryptocurrency industry.

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