Spot XRP ETF ‘won’t happen anytime soon,’ say analysts

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While there’s a chance that exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers are looking to offer a spot XRP (XRP) ETF, investors shouldn’t hold their breath for regulator approval “anytime soon,” according to analysts.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, analysts say that an ongoing case from the Securities and Exchange Commission against Ripple and the lack of an approved XRP futures ETF product would severely hurt the chances of a spot XRP ETF approval.

CoinShares’ head of product, Townsend Lansing, explained that an XRP ETF won’t be feasible unless the SEC was forced to or agreed to concede that XRP is not a security.

In July, the judge in the SEC’s suit against Ripple ruled that XRP as a token isn’t a security but it is when sold to institutional buyers. The fight between the two is ongoing and a trial in the case is scheduled for April 23.

Van Buren Capital general partner Scott Johnsson says he also sees the likelihood as “very slim” and would likely require new leadership at the SEC. Others, such as CoinShares research analyst Max Shannon, pointed out it took over a decade to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart shared little confidence in an imminent XRP ETF. In an interview with Thinking Crypto’s Tony Edward on Jan. 11, Seyffart said the ETF was a “remote possibility” and didn’t think it would happen this year given the SEC’s ongoing case against Ripple.

Seyffart also noted that, unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are currently no approved XRP futures ETFs in the United States.

On the subject, Johnsson argues that even if a financial exchange like the CME listed XRP futures tomorrow, the SEC would require years of high correlation between XRP’s futures and spot markets before approving a spot ETF to ensure surveillance sharing agreements are “sufficient to detect fraud and manipulation in the spot market” — like what happened for spot Bitcoin funds.

XRP investors still hopeful

However, analysts’ pessimism hasn’t stymied hope from some of the more avid XRP fans in recent weeks.

In January, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse was seen as playfully evasive when asked if one was on the way during a January interview at the World Economic Forum, while days earlier, some saw BlackRock CEO Larry Fink smiling when he dismissed a similar question by Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino.

Hopes were dashed on the latter after Gasparino reported that BlackRock has no plans for a spot XRP ETF, citing people with “direct knowledge of the matter.”

Related: Nasdaq, Cboe apply to offer BTC ETF options trading, receive fast response

Meanwhile, Franklin Templeton’s digital asset head, Sandy Kaul, hinted in an interview on Jan. 11 that they would be offering clients more opportunities to invest in crypto, and she anticipated “more filings coming from us at some point” — which has also raised hopes for other crypto ETF filings to come.

Whether an XRP fund is coming or not, the industry is focused on the potential approvals of spot Ether (ETH) ETFs, with Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas pinning approval odds at 70% in May.

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