The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once more delayed its verdict on multiple spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposals. This includes submissions from leading financial institutions like BlackRock and Invesco, in addition to the crypto-centric Bitwise.
According to records from September 28, these postponements were unexpected, catching many applicants off guard who were waiting for the regulator’s feedback between October 16 and 19.
These deferrals are closely linked to the increasing concern of a possible U.S. government shutdown. This shutdown might take place on October 1st if Congress doesn’t reach a consensus on several budget bills for governmental activities.
To prevent this shutdown, Congress is required to approve 12 individual full-year budget bills by September’s end. Such a shutdown could impact the operations of numerous federal bodies, including financial oversight entities like the SEC.
US SEC Continues to Delay Decisions on Bitcoin ETFs
The SEC has a history of deferring decisions on Bitcoin ETFs. Notably, a previous postponement took place in late August, right as an initial deadline was drawing near.
Moving forward, the next set of decision points for these seven entities is slated for mid-January. However, there’s a chance that these might be pushed further as well.
By mid-March, the SEC is obligated to provide a conclusive verdict.
Optimism Around Bitcoin Spot ETF Approval Grows
The likelihood of a Bitcoin ETF getting the green light has been on the rise in the past few months. In August, Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg, placed the chances at 75% for a spot Bitcoin ETF to receive approval by the end of 2023, a jump from a previous 65% estimate.
This growing optimism has been spurred by a pivotal verdict from the U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit, which ruled in Grayscale’s favor against the SEC. This decision hinted at a shifting tide towards a more receptive stance on such approvals. Balchunas even increased his projection, suggesting a 95% chance of approval by the close of 2024.
Despite this, the US SEC has yet to sanction any Bitcoin spot ETF, pinpointing concerns around clarity and safeguarding investors.