Nate Geraci, President of the ETF Store and host of the ETF Prime podcast, has brought to light a critical juncture in the potential approval of spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Citing Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, Geraci’s post on X today underscored the narrow window currently open for the SEC to issue 19b-4 approval orders for a batch of spot Bitcoin ETFs until Friday, November 17.
Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval This Week?
Geraci elaborated, “The spot Bitcoin ETF watch continues! Bloomberg’s James Seyffart explains that a small window is now open where the SEC could issue 19b-4 approval orders.” He stressed the general belief that the SEC would prefer to batch approve spot Bitcoin ETFs to avoid showing favoritism in a highly competitive market. “The consensus is that the SEC will batch approve spot bitcoin ETFs because the agency wants to avoid being perceived as playing kingmaker in an extremely high stakes and absurdly competitive market,” Geraci noted.
This time-sensitive window is critical because it precedes a phase where newer filings by issuers like Hashdex, Franklin Templeton, and Global X will enter a public comment period starting November 17th. This development would prevent their inclusion in any immediate batch approval process.
“This window [to approve all 12 filings] will close on November 17th because that is when issuers who filed later than the others [Hashdex, Franklin Templeton, and Global X] … will enter a public comment period, at which point the SEC simply isn’t going to approve them until that period is over (early January),” Geraci explained.
Geraci further clarified the distinction between the 19b-4 approval orders and the SEC’s approval of each issuer’s registration statement. While the former is a procedural step allowing ETFs to list and trade, the latter is more significant for the actual launch of these ETFs. He emphasized, “The SEC would still need to approve each issuer’s registration statement (S-1, or S-3 in Grayscale’s case), which is much more important to actual launch timing and likely to come at a later date.”
“By the way, another factor to consider here is a possible government shutdown later this week…,” Geraci concluded, adding another layer of intrigue around a possible approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs this week.
Bitcoin pundit Alessandro Ottaviani provided additional context, noting via X, the critical dates in the SEC’s decision-making process: “Till Nov 17 we are in the 8-day window where SEC could approve them (12) all. Nov 17 is the deadline for the latest two applications (Hashdex and Franklin Templeton) and Nov 21 for the 10th ETF application (Global X).”
If the SEC decides to delay these filings, January 10, 2024 would become the next significant deadline. On this day, the US agency needs to make a decision on the final deadline for Ark Invest’s spot Bitcoin ETF application.
However, as Bitcoinist reported last week, it is important to emphasize that the SEC could still approve the other nine ETF filings at any time between now and January 10. This would still be in line with the agency’s strategy of not being a kingmaker.
At press time, BTC traded at $36,932.
Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com