What are the next steps for the Bitcoin ETF?

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The final steps for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) debut on Wall Street are in progress, with final revisions from asset managers expected by the morning of Jan. 8, according to Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas. 

The revisions should be submitted through S-1 filings no later than 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time, or 13:00 UTC, and should reveal applicants remaining fees and tickers. BlackRock, for example, has not yet disclosed the fees associated with its ETF.

Exchanges set to trade the crypto funds submitted their 19-b forms after markets closed on Jan. 5. Together, 19-b and S-1 forms are the last steps before a verdict from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the analyst explained to Cointelegraph.

The next stage in the decision-making process could be the vote by the SEC commissioners. On the commission’s public agenda, however, nothing is scheduled before Jan. 11, when markets forecast the ETFs’ debut. According to Balchunas, the SEC could make the decision using its delegated authority policy:

“We’re not even sure they’re going to vote. […] They could use something called delegated authority, but we don’t know. It looks like there are three options: whether they vote or use delegated authority, which means they must approve it because when they denied the past ones, they didn’t have a vote.”

Balchunas predicts that most applicants will be approved next week, or at least those who meet the regulator’s requirements before Dec. 29. The analyst also noted that Grayscale — which is seeking conversion of its over-the-counter Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a listed BTC ETF — may receive its decision after the first applicant’s approval is granted. “It wouldn’t surprise me if there was something different with them.”

Commenting on Better Markets’ letter on Jan. 5 — which stated that approval of ETFs would be a “historic mistake” — Balchunas said it was the “last gasp of an angry crypto hater.”

“What they miss […] and if they did address this, I’d give them more respect, is the current ways that a person can buy crypto. Everybody can buy crypto now. It’s not like the ETF is making crypto available for the first time. […] I don’t think it really carries much weight. I think they just want to sort of be on the record that they hate it.”

For the past ten years, the SEC has denied approval of a spot BTC ETF, citing concerns over potential market manipulation. However, the regulator appears to be “backed into a corner”, according to Bloomberg’s James Seyffart.

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