SEC Nears Decision On Historic Bitcoin ETFs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could soon make history by approving bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), marking a significant milestone for the US regulator. Ark Invest and 21Shares are eagerly awaiting the SEC’s decision on their spot bitcoin ETF, with a critical deadline of Jan 10. This particular ETF has garnered attention as it was among the first, in the latest wave of 2023 filings, to resubmit an application for SEC approval.

The ETF race intensified in June when BlackRock entered, prompting a flurry of new and renewed efforts from other contenders like Fidelity, Bitwise, Invesco, Grayscale, and more. Analysts speculate that the SEC may simultaneously rule on multiple ETFs, including those proposed by Ark-21Shares, BlackRock, and others.

This simultaneous decision-making approach aims to avoid giving any spot Bitcoin ETF issuer a first-mover advantage. While the SEC can announce its decision anytime, industry watchers initially predicted a decision between January 8 and Jan 10. This timeframe was particularly highlighted due to the SEC’s efforts to collect public feedback on certain planned ETFs until Jan 5.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart has doubled his estimate, suggesting an SEC decision in the coming week. The filing process for spot bitcoin ETFs involved various documents, such as Form S-1s detailing fund operations, investment strategies, and other crucial information.

Amendments to these registration statements have been a recent trend, with fund groups disclosing authorized participants, fees, and specifics around creation and redemption models. Another necessary filing for spot bitcoin ETFs is the 19b-4, documenting a proposed rule change with the SEC. Exchanges, such as Cboe BZX, Nasdaq, and NYSE Arca, have submitted these documents on behalf of ETF proposals.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs: Anticipated 19b-4 Amendments

Analysts anticipate amendments to 19b-4 filings, specifically regarding the proposed ETFs’ creation and redemption model specifics. Some issuers opt for cash creations and redemptions, wherein authorized participants exchange shares for cash rather than a basket of securities reflecting the ETF holdings.

Recent filings also include 8-A forms for securities registration, with Fidelity and Grayscale submitting their documents. Overall, the spot bitcoin ETF landscape is dynamic, with issuers closely monitoring SEC comments and making necessary updates to comply with regulatory requirements.

The SEC spokesperson refrained from commenting on specific filings. However, they emphasized that effective registration statements and 19b-4 orders would be made public on EDGAR and the Federal Register.

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