$9 Trillion BlackRock Sees Bitcoin Spot ETF Approval Delayed, What This means

In continuation of its recent wave of delays, the US SEC has further delayed the Spot Bitcoin ETF application of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock

SEC Request For Comments On BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF Application

In its release concerning BlackRock’s application, the SEC called for written comments on why the iShares Bitcoin Trust should be approved or disapproved. This move ultimately extends the period in which the Commission can decide on the proposed rule change, with the next deadline coming on January 15, 2024. 

As part of its request for comments, the SEC specifically asked commenters to give their views on whether the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) represented a regulated market of significant size for spot Bitcoin. It also asked them to give their views on the correlation between the Bitcoin spot market and the CME Bitcoin futures market.

It is unknown what the SEC aims to achieve from this, considering that the court had ruled in Grayscale’s case against the Commission that the spot and futures market were correlated. Therefore, there was no reason why ETFs relating to both markets should enjoy different regulatory treatment.

Meanwhile, in a similar fashion, the SEC also extended the deadline for a decision on the Spot Bitcoin ETF applications of Bitwise, Invesco, and Valkyrie. Following this, the next deadline for the SEC to decide on these applications is in January 2024, with Bitwise’s coming on the 14, Invesco on the 15, and Valkyrie’s on the 17 of that month.  

It is worth mentioning that the SEC can still further delay these applications one last time before it finally has to decide on them. If that happens, these ETFs are likely not to launch (if approval is given) until mid-March. Meanwhile, the SEC must decide on the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF by January 10, 2024. 

The SEC is still expected to delay the Spot Bitcoin ETF applications of WisdomTree, VanEck, and Fidelity before a potential government shutdown on October 1.  

Not A Bad Day For Valkyrie

Despite the delay of its Spot Bitcoin ETF application, asset manager Valkyrie and its investors still had something to cheer about, as it is reported to have gotten the nod to offer exposure to ETH futures contracts through its Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ether Strategy ETF. 

The asset manager had earlier applied to the SEC to convert its Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF) to a new fund that holds both Bitcoin and Ethereum futures contracts.

This move was then touted as a way for the asset manager to gain a first-mover advantage over the rest, and it looks like it worked, as it will become the first to offer US investors the chance to bet on the future price of Ethereum. 

Confirming this news, Bloomberg Analyst James Seyffart stated that Valkyrie’s ticker will begin holding “a small % of ETH futures” from September 29 and will switch to “50% ETH 50% BTC” from next week. 

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