Following the monumental Grayscale ruling, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is preparing to make decisions on seven spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications. Asset managers will learn if their $BTC ETF applications are approved, rejected, or whether the decision is delayed.
Investment firm Bitwise is first on the list. They will find out if their ETF has been approved by the SEC on 1 September.
On the following day, BlackRock, VanEck, Fidelity, Invesco, and Wisdomtree will all await the SEC’s decision on their respective funds, according to several SEC filings. Valkyrie will be the last to hear, with a decision expected from the SEC on 4 September.
It comes after a federal court overturned the SEC’s decision to decline Grayscale’s application to turn its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF. The court said the SEC’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious”. This could lay the foundation for the first ever spot BTC ETF.
However, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart pointed out that this doesn’t guarantee approval for Grayscale’s ETF application or any other firms.
Upcoming ETF deadlines
A final decision might not be given on the initial deadlines expected over the next week. The ETF deadlines are the first out of four deadline, according to Bloomberg. The SEC have up to 240 days to make their final call on whether to approve an ETF.
The next set of deadlines are in October this year. However, the final round for most of the ETFs is in March 2024, which is just before the expected bitcoin halving.
Bloomberg has noted that the dates provided are estimates and the decisions could come earlier.
What next after the Grayscale ruling
After the Grayscale ruling on 29 August, the regulator has a 45 day window to either file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court or request an en banc review. This would involve a full circuit court potentially overturning a decision made by a three-judge panel.
As of now, the SEC has not indicated its next course of action.
Seyffart sees two potential paths for the SEC, according to a series of X posts. One option is to approve Grayscale’s conversion of its GBTC to a Bitcoin spot ETF. The other would be for the SEC to either delist Bitcoin futures ETFs or decline Grayscale’s application based on a new rationale.
On the other hand, Eric Balchunas, another Bloomberg ETF analyst, believes it’s “highly unlikely” the SEC will revoke the Bitcoin futures ETFs, especially given the SEC’s reported receptiveness to Ethereum futures ETFs.
Bitcoin’s price surge
The price of Bitcoin rallied following the Grayscale ruling. After opening on 29 August at $26,102.49, BTC surged to a high of $28,089.34, before closing at $27,727.39
Just before the ruling, 30,000 BTC, worth roughly $822 million, was moved to wallet addresses attached to centralized exchanges, according to crypto intelligence platform Santiment.
Santiment posted on X: “It looks quite clear that the powers that be knew of the inevitable boost in crypto market capitalization as a result of this outcome.”
The intelligence firm also noted that whales were accumulating Bitcoin in the days leading up to the Grayscale ruling and were “handsomely rewarded with a +6% price jump”.
This BTC rally was notable, especially considering the cryptocurrency’s recent dip. On 18 August, Bitcoin hit a two-month low, dropping 7.2% to $26,172. This was its most significant one-day decline since the FTX collapse in November 2022.
As of 30 August, Bitcoin was trading at $27,444.66, marking a 5% increase over both the past 24 hours and the previous week.