- Franklin Templeton, a global asset manager with $1.5 trillion under management, receives SEC acknowledgment for its spot Bitcoin ETF application.
- The SEC postpones decisions on ether exchange-traded fund applications from VanEck and ARK, with a final verdict expected by late May 2024.
In a significant move, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has acknowledged the spot Bitcoin ETF application from Franklin Templeton, a leading global asset manager overseeing $1.5 trillion. This acknowledgment is a pivotal moment in the crypto industry, especially given Franklin Templeton’s immense influence in the asset management domain.
SEC’s stance on crypto ETFs: A mixed bag
The SEC’s decision regarding Franklin Templeton’s application is not an isolated event. The regulatory body is currently reviewing applications for spot crypto exchange-traded funds from various entities. One such notable entity is Hashdex. The spotlight on Franklin Templeton’s application is magnified due to its dominant role in the asset management arena.
However, it’s not all smooth sailing for crypto exchange-traded funds. The SEC has recently announced that it will be postponing its decisions on the ether ETF applications submitted by VanEck and ARK. According to the regulatory framework, the SEC has a window of 240 days from the date the application is listed in the Federal Register to either approve or reject an ETF. This timeline suggests that a verdict on these funds will likely be delivered in late May 2024. It’s worth noting that the SEC has the discretion to seek public opinions at various interim stages, which could further push back the final decision date.
Historically, the SEC has been known for its propensity to delay decisions, often using the entire 240-day timeframe. A slew of exchange-traded fund applications from prominent firms like BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Wise Origin, VanEck, Bitwise, and Valkyrie Digital Assets were initially set for a decision in mid-October. However, in light of a potential federal government shutdown, the SEC has extended its decision-making timeline for spot Bitcoin ETF applications from Ark 21Shares and Global X.
SEC’s inconsistencies and the road ahead
The crypto community has been closely monitoring the SEC’s actions, especially after a recent federal appeals court ruling. In late August, the court directed the SEC to reconsider its decision to deny Grayscale Investments’ request to transform its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF. This directive underscored the inconsistencies in the SEC’s approval process for similar bitcoin products, adding another dimension to the ongoing debate surrounding crypto ETFs.
The SEC’s approach to Bitcoin ETFs has not been without its critics. Congressman Rep Warren Davidson recently posed a question to SEC Chair Gary Gensler about his respect for the Judiciary’s authority in Bitcoin ETF-related matters. This query stemmed from Gensler’s earlier remarks on a court verdict, where the judge criticized the SEC’s rationale for rejecting spot Bitcoin ETF applications as being “Arbitrary and Capricious.”
Addressing concerns about the SEC’s evolving stance on a Bitcoin ETF, Chair Gensler emphasized that the applications for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds are under “active consideration.”
The SEC’s acknowledgment of Franklin Templeton’s Bitcoin ETF application marks a significant milestone in the crypto industry. However, the road to widespread acceptance and integration of crypto exchange-traded funds remains fraught with challenges and uncertainties. As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, all eyes will be on the SEC’s next moves and the potential implications for the future of crypto investments.
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