For over 10 years now, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been denying spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., frequently citing the risk of market manipulation as a reason for the denials.
However, this could all change today as the crypto industry expects the SEC to greenlight at least one or all of the over a dozen outstanding spot Bitcoin ETF applications, potentially marking a watershed moment for cryptocurrencies.
ETF Approval Day
Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas has confidently declared Jan. 10 “ETF Approval Day”, as it appears that all systems are ready for SEC approval.
“Most likely is we see formal approvals ballpark 4-6pm today with the Derby starting on Thursday,” Balchunas stated, forecasting that if ETFs get the regulatory nod today, they could be available for trading as early as when markets open on Thursday, January 11.
The cryptosphere can finally breathe a sigh of relief: It looks like the Securities and Exchange Commission will allow traditional finance titans and crypto companies to list and trade shares of a product, giving retail and institutional investors exposure to Bitcoin without having to buy and store the asset themselves.
Would-be ETF providers, including BlackRock, Fidelity, WisdomTree, and Grayscale, have all filed multiple revisions to their S-1 forms since the beginning of the week to fully satisfy the SEC’s comments. The modifications have offered new details about authorized participants and fees.
On Wednesday, the Cboe BZX exchange sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission, requesting “acceleration of registration” for six proposed spot bitcoin ETFs. “In order to facilitate timely listing, the Exchange requests acceleration of registration of these securities under Rule 12d1-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended,” reads one of the letters.
While the federal securities regulator is yet to approve the applicants’ 19b-4 and S1 filings, this is the latest step in the process that suggests the end game could be nigh.
This is all happening on the back of a market-moving security incident on Tuesday. The SEC’s official X (formerly Twitter) account posted that the agency had approved the first Bitcoin ETF, only for chairman Gary Gensler to shortly say thereafter that someone, unknown as yet, compromised the regulator’s account and that ETFs had not been approved at that time.
Bitcoin plummeted to $45K earlier this morning from nearly $48K. It has since recovered slightly according to CoinGecko data, and is changing hands for $45,648 at press time, or 2.% below its price yesterday.