The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again postponed the approval of several Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications. The agency delayed the approval for GlobalX’s ETF application, which was expected on October 7, as well as the Ark/21Shares ETF, which had a deadline of November 11. The SEC set January 10, 2024, as the final deadline for approving or denying Ark’s application. This latest delay follows previous postponements and comes after a group of congressmen urged the SEC to stop discriminating against spot Bitcoin ETFs. Expert opinions suggest that these delays may have dashed hopes of approving a spot ETF by the end of the year.
Last month, Grayscale won a lawsuit against the SEC, accusing the agency of being arbitrary and capricious in denying its spot Bitcoin ETF while approving futures ETFs. The SEC’s response to the victory will likely be either approving a spot ETF or appealing the court’s decision. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart believes that the recent delays signal a potential federal government shutdown and decrease the likelihood of approving a Bitcoin spot ETF by the end of the year. Bitwise, another contender in the Bitcoin ETF race, filed an amendment to its application on Tuesday, presenting new arguments against the SEC’s case for denying spot ETFs.
Despite the setback, the outcome of the SEC’s decision will have significant implications for the cryptocurrency market. Approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF would provide investors with more accessible and regulated exposure to Bitcoin, potentially attracting institutional investors and boosting the overall legitimacy of the cryptocurrency industry. However, the repeated delays suggest that the SEC remains cautious about approving such products, raising concerns about the agency’s stance on Bitcoin and its regulatory approach towards cryptocurrencies in general.