In a surprising move, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again postponed its decision on several Bitcoin spot ETF applications. This comes despite mounting pressure from the U.S. Congress, which recently sent a formal letter urging the SEC to approve these ETFs.
One of the delayed applications belongs to GlobalX, which was expecting a response from the SEC by October 7. However, the SEC also pushed back its decision on the Ark/21Shares ETF, even though a response wasn’t due until November 11.
In a recent filing, the SEC stated, “The Commission designates January 10, 2024, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.” This date marks the final deadline for the SEC to make a decision on Ark’s application. Notably, the SEC had previously delayed Ark’s application in August, followed by several other postponements for applications from other firms due in early September.
This delay is particularly significant as it comes on the heels of a letter sent to SEC chair Gary Gensler by crypto-supportive congressmen, including Tom Emmer and Ritchie Torres. The letter called on Gensler to stop discriminating against spot Bitcoin exchange-traded products.
In another twist, Grayscale recently won a lawsuit against the SEC. The firm argued that the SEC’s denial of its spot Bitcoin ETF, while simultaneously approving futures ETFs, was “arbitrary and capricious.” This victory has left the crypto community eagerly awaiting the SEC’s next move, which could be either the approval of a spot ETF or an appeal against the court’s decision.
Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart commented on the recent delays, suggesting that they might have dashed hopes of a product being approved by the end of the year. He speculated that the SEC might be preparing for a potential federal government shutdown.
Bitwise, another contender in the Bitcoin ETF race, recently amended its application, presenting new arguments against the SEC’s reasons for denying spot ETFs.
The SEC’s repeated delays, despite clear congressional support for Bitcoin ETFs, indicate a complex regulatory landscape. Many believe that the SEC might be signaling a maximum delay, with no decision expected this year. If this is the case, the crypto community will have to wait until January 10, 2024, for a definitive answer.