In a surprising turn, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued additional comments on the S-1 filings for proposed spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
This move, which occurred shortly after prospective issuers submitted their proposed fee structures, has sparked speculation within the cryptocurrency industry.
While some view it as a potential indicator of delay, others argue that the rapid response from the SEC may not necessarily signal a deliberate tactic to postpone the approval process.
Quick SEC response raises eyebrows
On the same day that leading industry players like BlackRock, Bitwise, and Fidelity disclosed their proposed fees for spot Bitcoin ETFs in their amended S-1 filings (S-3 in the case of Grayscale), the SEC provided feedback on these documents.
What has caught the attention of insiders is the speed at which the SEC responded, with some industry experts deeming it “borderline unheard of.”
The comments issued by the SEC primarily addressed minor details within the filings rather than indicating any significant changes, leading many to question the motive behind this quick response.
Perianne Boring, the founder and CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, sees the SEC’s actions as a potential signal of delay in the approval process. However, Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart offers a contrasting perspective.
Seyffart emphasizes that the rapid response time from the SEC may not necessarily be a deliberate delay tactic. He points out that if the SEC had wanted to delay the process, they would not have promptly provided comments, indicating that the comments are likely part of the standard procedure.
Confidence in the approval timeline
Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett spoke with individuals who received additional comments from the SEC. According to Terrett, these industry insiders express confidence that the SEC’s actions do not signify a change of plans. Instead, they view it as a procedural step to ensure that all necessary details are addressed before the looming deadline of January 10.
With the January 10 deadline approaching for the Ark 21Shares spot Bitcoin ETF filing, the SEC is under pressure to make a final decision. Despite speculation and differing opinions on the SEC’s recent comments, one thing is clear: the cryptocurrency community is eagerly awaiting a resolution.
Some believe that the SEC may not have room for further delays and are anticipating that the application by Ark 21Shares will either be approved or denied outright.
A complex regulatory landscape
The SEC’s involvement in approving Bitcoin ETFs is part of a broader regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency in the United States. The agency has been cautious in its approach to these financial products, citing investor protection and market manipulation concerns.
Both 19b-4 and S-1 filings, as seen with the Bitcoin ETF proposals, require approval from the SEC before such ETFs can start trading on national securities exchanges.