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SEC Delays Decision on Grayscale’s Spot Ethereum ETF Until January 2024

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to postpone its decision on Grayscale’s application for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF), extending the review period with a new deadline set for January 25, 2024. The SEC’s latest filing indicates that this extension is intended to provide more time for a thorough examination of the proposed rule change and the associated issues. The new deadline replaces the earlier due date of December 11, 2023, and reflects the regulatory agency’s commitment to a comprehensive evaluation of Grayscale’s application.

SEC Postpones Grayscale’s Ethereum ETF Decision

In their explanation, the SEC stated, “The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised therein.”

By January 25, 2024, the SEC is expected to “either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove” Grayscale’s proposed spot Ethereum ETF application.

The ongoing scrutiny by the SEC regarding crypto-based ETFs, covering both Ethereum and Bitcoin, reflects the regulatory body’s cautious approach to integrating these digital assets into mainstream financial products. The extended deadline for Grayscale’s Ethereum ETF is part of the SEC’s consistent effort to carefully evaluate the viability and potential impact of such investment options in the U.S. market.

Meetings and More Delayed Decisions

The SEC has engaged in meetings with major financial institutions that have submitted applications for crypto ETFs, including Grayscale and BlackRock. A memorandum released by the SEC revealed that officials from the agency’s Division of Trading and Markets held a meeting with Grayscale Investments on November 29 to discuss the proposed conversion of Grayscale’s listed Bitcoin Trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Previously, the SEC has postponed decisions on various ETF filings, including those from Global X, Franklin Templeton, and Hashdex.

As of now, the Commission has not approved any spot Bitcoin or Ethereum ETF applications for listing on a U.S. exchange. According to Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst James Seyffart, the delay is considered “completely normal.” Seyffart believes that once the regulatory authority decides to approve a crypto ETF, it may potentially approve multiple applications simultaneously.

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