SEC Again Delays Decision On BlackRock, Fidelity’s Ether ETF Applications

Ethereum’s Big Moment: After BlackRock, Fidelity Seeks SEC Greenlight For Spot Ether ETF

On Monday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) once again postponed making any decision on Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications from investment giants BlackRock and Fidelity.

Both BlackRock and Fidelity submitted their first filings to create Ethereum ETFs to the SEC in November, which the securities watchdog postponed in January shortly after approving a roster of spot BTC ETFs, claiming the need for a “longer period within which to take action.”

The SEC is allowed by law to postpone its decision up to three times before arriving at a final decision, with the first deadline in May. According to the Monday filings, the SEC is launching comment periods for both Ethereum ETF applications to “address the sufficiency” of the proposals.

In particular, the SEC raised concerns about the “nature of the underlying assets” held by these proposed funds. Comments for both Fidelity and BlackRock are due over the next 21 days, and rebuttals are due in 35 days. The regulator posed this question to public commenters:

“Are there particular features related to ether and its ecosystem, including its proof of stake consensus mechanism and concentration of control or influence by a few individuals or entities, that raise unique concerns about ether’s susceptibility to fraud and manipulations?”

The SEC’s delay was expected, with market pundits reckoning that the agency will only decide to give the nod or reject the ether ETFs once the first final deadline arrives in May.

Wen Spot ETH ETFs?

Analysts are uncertain whether BlackRock’s spot Ethereum ETF will get the green light this year. The policy backdrop in the U.S. could affect the SEC’s decision and the blockbuster success of BTC-based ETFs.

BlackRock’s IBIT currently holds a staggering $11.5 billion in assets under management, with the U.S. spot BTC ETFs managing roughly $50 billion combined.

Meanwhile, the price of ether has soared to new two-year highs above $3,800 as anticipation mounts for the potential approval of spot ETH ETFs in the foreseeable future. At the time of publication, ETH was changing hands for $3,879.97, up 3.9% on the day, per data from CoinGecko. However, senior ETF analyst for Bloomberg, Eric Balchunas, argues that the yet-to-be-approved Ethereum funds will be “small potatoes” compared to the Bitcoin ETFs.

Ether’s positive momentum also comes amid enthusiasm for the network’s major Dencun upgrade, set to go live on the mainnet on March 13. Dencun will introduce proto-danksharding to the number one proof-of-stake blockchain — a feature intended to lower transaction costs for layer-2 solutions, making data availability cheaper while also tackling scalability problems.

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