Regulation

SEC Delays Spot Bitcoin ETF Decision For BlackRock, Bitwise

SEC Delays Spot Bitcoin ETF Decision For BlackRock, Bitwise

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed its decisions on several spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) applications ahead of an anticipated government shutdown. 

Many industry experts had predicted that the SEC would delay the decisions once again.

SEC Delays Decision 

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed decisions on several spot bitcoin ETF proposals. The delays come just days after the commission delayed decisions regarding the Ark 21 Shares and GlobalX applications until January. Now, the SEC has delayed spot bitcoin ETF applications of BlackRock, Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie, according to court filings filed on the 28th of September. 

Apart from these applications, James Seyffart, Bloomberg ETF analyst, expects that the Securities and Exchange Commission will also push back the applications from VanEck, Fidelity, and WisdomTree. 

“ANOTHER: @BlackRockjoins the party on spot #Bitcoin ETF delays. Three out of seven down.”

Seyffart stated that the delays are trickling in early to avoid an anticipated government shutdown. In a hearing in DC, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler stated that a government shutdown would leave the regulator working with a skeletal staff. 

Applicants Hopeful 

Among the applications, BlackRock is the most highly anticipated, with the $9 trillion asset management behemoth having an impressive track record of garnering approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Seyffart has stated that BlackRock’s record of approvals from the SEC stands at 575-1. 

Before the delay, the applicants had deadlines that were coming up in October. However, the SEC can delay its rulings until the end of the initial 240-day deadline. The delays from the SEC had also left industry watchers wondering if the regulator intends to appeal the Grayscale court decision. The court, in its judgment, sided with Grayscale and asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to re-examine Grayscale’s application to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF. 

Government Shutdown Looms 

The delays from the Securities and Exchange Commission come as an expected US government shutdown is expected to take place starting from the 1st of October. The shutdown is expected to disrupt the country’s federal agencies significantly, including financial regulators. The shutdown could happen because both houses of Congress, the House, and the Senate, have failed to agree on a number of funding bills dealing with the finance of government operations. 

As of now, Congress needs to pass 12 separate full-year funding bills by the 1st of October to avoid a complete shutdown. The Securities and Exchange Commission had initially delayed spot Bitcoin ETF applications in August. The third set of deadlines for applicants is mid-January, with industry watchers anticipating the SEC to announce another delay then. 

However, the SEC will have to make a final decision by March at the latest. In August, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas had stated that the probability of a spot bitcoin ETF approval had risen to 75% from an earlier 65%. Balchunas stated that the decisiveness of the decision made by the US Court of Appeals Circuit in the Grayscale vs. SEC case is the reason behind the increase in the odds. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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