The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has pushed its deadline for a decision on BlackRock’s proposed spot Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF) to March.
A Jan. 24 filing shows that the top securities watchdog “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.”
The SEC made the deferral just a day before the Jan. 25 deadline. This is the first of many delays the agency can exercise within a 240-day period. The SEC’s next deadline to approve, disapprove, or further delay the BlackRock spot ETH ETF decision is on March 10.
BlackRock, the world’s biggest fund manager with over $9 trillion in assets under management, applied for a spot ether ETF in November 2023. After the approval of nearly a dozen spot Bitcoin ETFs on Jan 10, BlackRock boss Larry Fink said he’s all in on a spot ETH ETF in a CNBC interview, adding that the introduction of such funds “are just stepping stones towards tokenization.”
Other prominent companies such as Ark Invest, VanEck, Fidelity, and Grayscale are also seeking to launch their own Ethereum ETFs.
“Next date that matters is May 23rd,” said Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart on Jan. 24, further noting that he expects more spot Ether ETF delays “sporadically” in the coming months.
Will Spot Ether ETFs Need Lawsuits And Appeals To Be Approved?
Strategists have forecasted that ETH ETF applications will be successful, as the legal realities that pushed the SEC to give the nod to Bitcoin ETFs reluctantly will likely also apply to ether.
SEC Commissioner Hester “Crypto Mom” Peirce recently suggested that a drawn-out court battle won’t be necessary to convince the Commission to approve spot Ether applications.
“We shouldn’t need a court to tell us that our approach is ‘arbitrary and capricious’ in order for us to get it right,” Peirce told a Coinage interviewer, referencing the landmark Grayscale court ruling that preceded the greenlighting of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S.
If approved, it would be the first time professional American investors can gain exposure to the industry’s second-largest crypto by market cap, ether.
Spot ETH ETFs would further legitimize Ethereum’s status in mainstream finance, leading to intensified interest and investment in ether-based projects.