Grayscale sees Ether ETF approvals despite SEC ‘lack of engagement’

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Grayscale is confident that spot Ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds will be approved in May despite recent “chatter” about the U.S. securities regulator’s “lack of engagement” with applicants.

“I don’t think perceived lack of engagement from regulators should be indicative of one outcome or another […] I personally am not deterred by it and believe the ETFs should be approved,” explained Grayscale Chief Legal Officer Craig Salm in an X post on March 25.

Source: Craig Salm

Salm explained that in the months before spot Bitcoin ETFs were approved, many of the issues common to spot Ether ETFs “were figured out” — such as details of creation and redemption procedures, cash and in-kind models, asset protection, loss prevention, and custody.

“So in many ways, the SEC already has engaged and issuers simply have less to engage on this time,” he said, adding: 

“The case is just as strong as it was for spot #Bitcoin ETFs.”

However, ETF issuers looking to incorporate staking into their spot Ether ETFs would have an additional issue to “hash out” with the regulator. Those applicants include Ark 21Shares, Fidelity and Franklin Templeton.

Bloomberg ETF analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart recently shared concern over a “lack of engagement” from the SEC, and have since reduced their odds for an approved spot Ether in May to 25%.

In a March 25 post on X, Balchunas said it was a “pessimistic 25%,” adding the lack of engagement seems to be “purposeful” as opposed to “procrastination.”

Related: Pundits worry SEC’s Ethereum probe could be used to hold back ETFs

However, Salm said the recent approval of Ether Futures ETFs and regulation of those products as commodity futures put the spot Ether ETFs in a strong position to be approved as futures and spot products have a “high correlation.”

A similar conclusion was reached by Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal and Brian Quintenz, a former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission last week.

BlackRock, VanEck, ARK 21Shares, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale, Franklin Templeton and Hashdex are among the spot Ether ETF applicants vying for SEC approval.

The SEC must decide on VanEck’s application by May 23 and analysts predict all applicants will learn their fate on that date.

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