SEC moves closer to spot Bitcoin ETF approval with 19b-4 amendment filings

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has begun accepting filings by exchanges in a sign toward approval of listing a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

On Jan. 5, 19b-4 amendments were filed for spot BTC ETF applications from asset managers BlackRock, Valkyrie, Grayscale, Bitwise, Hashdex, ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, VanEck and WisdomTree. 

The filings are one of the last stages in the SEC approval process, but S-1 documents must be completed in order for U.S. exchanges to begin listing shares of investment securities with direct exposure to crypto.

Some experts have speculated that final approval for the spot Bitcoin ETFs will drop before Jan. 10 — the deadline for an offering from ARK Invest and 21Shares. A potential approval could mean greater adoption of crypto in the U.S. and worldwide.

Meanwhile, in a post on X, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas showed optimism that the SEC would approve a Bitcoin ETF by the start of next week:

“Yeah it’s basically done. Latest I’m hearing (from multiple sources) that final S-1s are due 8am on Monday as SEC is trying to line everyone up for Jan 11th launch.”

Related: Spot Bitcoin ETF vs. self-custody: Is there a conflict?

However, U.S. financial advisers as a whole are not as confident that the SEC will approve the offering.

On Jan. 4, Cointelegraph reported that only 39% of U.S.-based financial advisers believe a Bitcoin ETF will be approved this year.

In a survey from ETF issuer Bitwise, financial advisers across the country were asked several questions, with participants ranging from registered investment advisers, financial planners, institutional investors and wirehouse representatives. 

When participants were asked to select a time period for when they expect a spot Bitcoin ETF to be approved, only 39% answered “2024.”

Magazine: Expect ‘records broken’ by Bitcoin ETF: Brett Harrison (ex-FTX US), X Hall of Flame