The competition to launch the first spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States has officially commenced following recent 19b-4 filings submitted by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). These filings mark the initiation of the regulatory process, putting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the clock for a decision.
On September 6th, the CBOE submitted two 19b-4 applications to the SEC, seeking approval for the listing of the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF and VanEck Ethereum ETF investment products on CBOE’s BZX Exchange. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart took to Twitter to highlight the significance of these 19b-4 filings, emphasizing that they trigger the countdown for an SEC decision.
Seyffart stated, “The Spot #Ethereum ETF Race is officially on,” and estimated a final decision deadline around May 23, 2024. Unlike S-1 filings, which indicate a firm’s intention to list an investment product, 19b-4 forms are filed by self-regulatory organizations like stock exchanges to request rule changes to the SEC.
The SEC is now obligated to review the 19b-4 filings and make a decision, although it has the authority to delay decisions, as it has done in the case of spot Bitcoin ETFs. It’s worth noting that ARK Invest and 21Shares jointly filed an S-1 to the SEC on September 6th, while VanEck’s S-1 filing dates back to July 2021.
Seyffart anticipates that more spot Ethereum ETF filings will emerge in the coming days. This development comes on the heels of the SEC signaling its intention to approve Ethereum Futures investment products on August 17th. Simultaneously, various firms, including Grayscale Investments and BlackRock, are actively seeking approval for spot Bitcoin ETFs, indicating the growing demand for crypto-related investment products in the traditional financial space. The race for the first spot in Ethereum ETF approval adds a new dimension to the evolving crypto ETF landscape in the United States.