Once again, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision. This time, it’s regarding numerous proposals for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
This delay comes amidst growing anticipation in the cryptocurrency market. These submissions originate from prominent financial entities such as BlackRock and Invesco, as well as the crypto-focused Bitwise.
Filed on September 28, these earlier-than-anticipated delays have taken applicants by surprise. Many had anticipated responses from the SEC between October 16 and 19.
The timing of these delays is closely tied to the looming threat of a U.S. government shutdown, which could potentially occur on October 1 if Congress fails to agree on various funding bills for government operations.
Currently, Congress must pass 12 separate full-year funding bills by the end of September to avert this shutdown, which would disrupt the functioning of various federal agencies, including financial regulators like the SEC.
Bitcoin ETF Approval Prospects and SEC Delays
The SEC has consistently postponed Bitcoin ETF decisions. This trend was evident in late August, aligning with the initial deadline. In the future, these seven firms face a mid-January deadline with possible extensions.
The SEC must reach a final decision by mid-March at the latest. Recent optimism surrounds the approval of a Bitcoin ETF. In August, Bloomberg’s ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas, raised his estimate from 65% to 75% for a spot Bitcoin ETF approval by the end of 2023.
This optimism arises from a key ruling favoring Grayscale over the SEC by the U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit. This decision indicates a more favorable environment, with Balchunas raising the odds to an impressive 95% by the end of 2024.
To date, the US SEC hasn’t approved any Bitcoin spot ETF, citing unclear regulations and insufficient investor safeguards.