SEC Bitcoin ETF Judgment Day Arrives: Approve or Deny?

BySamson Ononeme

Jan 10, 2024 , ,
Years of rejected Bitcoin ETF applications near decisive endgame as the SEC delivers its verdict Wednesday, despite alarm after their Twitter account was suspiciously hacked.

Key Insights

  • SEC decision still expected Wednesday on approving spot bitcoin ETFs, despite unauthorized tweet
  • Approvals likely between 4-6pm ET, may sequence registrations evenly say experts
  • Issuers like BlackRock cut fees further to vie for assets after any launch date

NEW YORK – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is widely expected to finally rule on several spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications by Wednesday evening, despite an unauthorized message briefly posted from its breached Twitter account incorrectly claiming approvals a day prior.

Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas said he anticipates listing decisions on the long-awaited crypto asset products coming after markets close, perhaps between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. EST.

The conclusion of a years-long approval process could see the first U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs trading as soon as Thursday if the SEC blesses both a rule change (Form 19b-4) and an effective registration (Form S-1) for listed fund companies.

Issuers Brace for SEC Ruling as Bitcoin ETF D-Day Dawns

Some issuers caution SEC could intentionally sequence approvals to negate any first-mover advantage, rather than risk litigation. That may entail approving registration filings before exchange rule changes.

I think their objective is to level the playing field so they’ll bring others to the same point as Grayscale and just give everyone their 19b-4s at the same time, said ETF industry veteran Stuart Barton on Wednesday.

A wave of final fee cuts has meanwhile underscored issuers still battling for maximal assets after any launch date. BlackRock chopped its spot ETF sponsor fee to 0.25% on Wednesday, while Ark Invest went lower to 0.21%.

Heightened volatility persists nonetheless after the SEC’s official X account was hacked on Tuesday. An unauthorized message initially declared spot ETF approval before rapid deletion.

Some applicants expressed unease to MarketsXplora on whether the embarrassing cyber exploit would sway crunch deliberations against novelty crypto products amid broader reforms. But insiders maintained confidence in impending breakthroughs.

I have a feeling approvals will come first and the reason for that is I think the SEC, their objective here is to bring everyone to market at the same time, Barton added on Wednesday morning.

With the clock ticking, issuers and investors now anxiously await SEC confirmation one way or another – ending years of regulatory guessing games around when crypto trading barriers might finally fall.

Samson Ononeme

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