The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has thrown a wrench into the plans of Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie by imposing unexpected delays.
A decision by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, one that carries significant implications, has been postponed. The decision pertains to several proposals for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including a notable name like BlackRock. This unexpected delay looms ominously, coinciding with the anticipation of a government shutdown.
In an unforeseen turn of events, the SEC has chosen to prolong the evaluation of the spot Bitcoin ETF applications submitted by Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie. This decision, as reported in separate filings dated September 28, adds an air of uncertainty to the crypto landscape. Notably, Bloomberg’s ETF analyst, James Seyffart, anticipates that similar postponements may afflict the applications put forth by Fidelity, VanEck, and WidsomTree, adding to the general sense of unpredictability.
These delays, arriving two weeks earlier than the initially scheduled second deadline, have caught many applicants off guard. Prior expectations had revolved around receiving feedback from the securities regulator between October 16 and 19. However, the current landscape of uncertainty paints a different picture.
The timing of these unforeseen delays can be attributed to the looming specter of a potential U.S. government “shutdown” set to unfurl on October 1. This impending disruption threatens to cast a long shadow over the operations of the country’s financial regulators and other federal agencies. The situation is exacerbated by the lack of consensus between both chambers of Congress—the House and Senate—on various funding bills required to sustain government operations. To avert a shutdown, Congress must successfully navigate the passage of 12 separate full-year funding bills by October 1, a task fraught with uncertainty.
This recent delay echoes a previous instance in late August when the SEC postponed a cluster of spot Bitcoin ETF applications as the first deadline drew near. The financial landscape continues to be marked by unpredictability.
Meanwhile, the third set of deadlines for the seven firms involved is fast approaching, set for mid-January. Yet, even these deadlines may not be sacrosanct, as the SEC retains the prerogative to extend them. The final verdict, a decision that could send ripples through the financial world, must be rendered no later than mid-March.
In a noteworthy twist, Bloomberg’s ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas, has raised the odds of a spot Bitcoin ETF gaining approval by the end of 2023. His earlier estimate of 65% has now been revised upwards to 75%, reflecting a growing sense of optimism. Balchunas attributes this shift to the remarkable unanimity and decisiveness exhibited by the U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit in their ruling favoring Grayscale in their legal battle against the SEC. In a bold move, Balchunas goes a step further, raising the odds to an impressive 95% by the conclusion of 2024, a testament to the ever-evolving landscape of financial unpredictability.