SEC set to approve first wave of spot bitcoin ETFs

Category: Blockchain Crypto Regulatory

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is set to approve the first set of applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs in early 2024, according to a recent report by Fox Business’ Eleanor Terrett.

The SEC has said that only firms submitting their final S-1 amendment forms by Friday (December 29) will be considered for approval in the first wave. Grayscale Investments led the way, submitting their amendments in November. BlackRock and Bitwise submitted their S-1 amendment forms on December 4.

The @SECGov has told issuers that applications that are fully finished and filed by Friday will be considered in the first wave,” Terrett said.

“Anyone who is not will not be considered. In addition, the filings cannot mention in-kind creation or they will be rejected.”

Per Reuters, SEC officials conducted meetings on December 21 with representatives from at least seven firms, including major players like BlackRock, Grayscale, ARK Invest and 21Shares, all seeking to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs next year.

BlackRock’s application raised optimism, given its market influence and success history with ETF applications. The SEC is currently evaluating a joint proposal from ARK and 21Shares, with a decision expected by January 10, 2024.

The ongoing lawsuit between the SEC and Grayscale adds complexity to the unfolding narrative. The resolution of this dispute is seen as a key factor influencing the sentiment that the regulator might finally approve the Bitcoin Spot ETF.

As the crypto community awaits the outcome, recent developments surrounding the SEC’s deadline and high-profile meetings suggest a potential shift in the regulatory landscape. The coming weeks are anticipated to be crucial for the crypto market, with hopes that 2024 could witness the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF, paving the way for new investment opportunities and further legitimizing digital assets in traditional finance.

The SEC has consistently denied several applications for the introduction of spot bitcoin ETFs in recent years. It argued about potential market manipulation in the cryptocurrency sector. Until now, the agency has only given the green light to cryptocurrency ETFs linked to Bitcoin and Ethereum futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

In recent months, however, there have been increasing signs that regulators are prepared to sign off on at least some of the 13 proposed spot bitcoin ETFs. Some say the catalyst was a federal appeals court decision in August that the SEC erred in rejecting Grayscale’s proposed conversion of its trust into an ETF.

Bitcoin’s sideways movement, potential bull run

Bitcoin is trading at $43,530 as of writing and has been moving sideways for the past week, unable to surpass the $44,000 resistance level, which serves as the year-to-date high.

Price indicators suggest a higher likelihood of no significant changes. Both the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicators show mild bearish signals in the market.

This implies that until the date of potential approval for the spot BTC ETF approaches, Bitcoin will likely continue its sideways movement.

Yet, if there is any update by December 29 regarding which applications are likely to be approved by January 10, the market may see a rally, shifting the trend from neutral to bullish and propelling the Bitcoin price beyond $44,000.

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