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SEC Inundated With Paperwork Ahead of Spot Bitcoin ETF Decision

Key Takeaways

The SEC is facing a mountain of filings from firms seeking to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs by the January 10 deadline. With the holidays and staff time off, some experts question if the SEC will be able to make a decision by next week:

  • Journalist Eleanor Terrett expresses skepticism due to the SEC’s workload and vacations.
  • Crypto expert Scott Melker speculated an approval could come as soon as January 2.
  • Terrett compared the tight timeline to the Ethereum ETF approval in October.
  • Sources suggest SEC workload could push an announcement to later in the week.
  • Bloomberg analysts expect the SEC to approve ETFs closer to the January 10 deadline.
  • The SEC has previously denied spot Bitcoin ETFs over market manipulation concerns.
  • Industry participants expect the SEC to approve multiple applications to avoid granting any one firm a first-mover advantage.

Skepticism of Early Approval

With applications from BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco, Bitwise and VanEck awaiting approval, FOX Business journalist Eleanor Terrett expressed skepticism that the SEC will approve any spot Bitcoin ETFs before next week. She cited SEC staff vacations and the agency’s heavy workload ahead of the January 10th decision deadline.

Crypto expert @ScottMelker speculated the SEC could approve an ETF as early as January 2nd. However, Terrett pointed out that the timetable would be tight, comparing it to the SEC’s October approval of the ProShares Bitcoin futures ETF.

Charles Gasparino of FOX Business reported that there has been no recent communication between the SEC and BlackRock regarding the firm’s spot Bitcoin ETF application, suggesting an early approval is unlikely. Sources indicate the SEC’s workload may push any announcement towards the end of next week.

Analyst Expectations

If the SEC were to approve any spot Bitcoin ETF applications before January 5th, it would be ahead of most analysts’ expectations. Bloomberg analysts believed the SEC was more likely to approve a batch of applications closer to the January 10th deadline.

The SEC has previously denied spot Bitcoin ETF applications citing concerns over market manipulation and investor protection. However, after losing an August lawsuit to Grayscale Investments, the SEC began working more closely with firms seeking to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Industry participants like Cathie Wood of ARK Invest expect the SEC will approve multiple spot Bitcoin ETF applications simultaneously to avoid granting any one firm an early first-mover advantage.

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