While investors had been highly anticipating a spot Bitcoin ETF, it may not be actualized for at least the next few months as the SEC has opted to delay several spot Bitcoin ETF approval decisions.
This development seems to have come at a time when Bitcoin’s price had started to see a change in trend, as the cryptocurrency had made its way to the $37,000 range. However, this price range seems to have been maintained despite the now-delayed ETF approval.
Approvals May Only Happen in 2024
A window for ETF approvals opened on November 10, 2023, with several entities, including leading asset manager BlackRock, applying for the same. Naturally, a bullish sentiment was observed across the market, as approval for these ETFs would significantly increase Bitcoin’s exposure in the financial markets. This could potentially act as a catalyst for another market upswing. However, the SEC’s announcement that it would not approve any ETFs at the moment cast a shadow over these speculations.
While the news disappointed many, it wasn’t very surprising, at least for a significant chunk of experts. Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas reassured that this delay in approvals does not mean it won’t happen. It simply indicates that the SEC will be reviewing the applications and deciding on their approval or rejection at a later date.
Concerns Regarding the Current ETF Applications are Being Raised
The possibility of market manipulation has been a reason for the past rejection of multiple ETF applications. The SEC has historically shown a high level of scepticism regarding approvals, as highlighted by BitGo’s CEO, Mike Belshe. He mentioned that the SEC might demand a clearer separation between these entities before considering approval. Belshe claimed that Coinbase’s close relationship with the ETFs, as it serves as the custody partner for most applications, could decrease the chances of approval.
Currently, there has been no clear indication from the SEC about when they will open the window for approvals next or what factors may be considered in the selection process for the highly anticipated ETF.