U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission officials sent comments to a group of potential issuers of bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) just hours after the companies filed documents detailing fees for their proposed products, said one of the people familiar with the comments.
Exporters must submit updated documents on Tuesday, the individual said. The comments addressed minor details in the amended S-1 Forms rather than significant changes, and should not impact the timeline for potential approval by the regulator. Issuers hoping to launch spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., including BlackRock, Grayscale and Fidelity, announced their expected fees in filings earlier Monday.
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyphart, who has been closely tracking Bitcoin ETF orders, chirp It is “unheard of” for applicants to hear a response from the SEC on the same day for amended applications.
Monday's comments show that SEC officials remain engaged in dialogues with potential ETF issuers, most of whom proposed creating bitcoin ETFs last summer. The agency faces a deadline of January 10, 2024 — that is, this Wednesday — for one of the applications submitted by Ark and 21 Shares. A flurry of amended filings by issuers, reflecting their conversations with SEC officials, has raised hopes in recent weeks that the agency will approve spot bitcoin ETFs for trading in the United States. Those hopes were boosted when exchanges including Nasdaq, NYSE Arca and Cboe BZX filed an amendment to their 19b-4 documents on Friday, which another person told CoinDesk last week was intended to match the S-1 filings.
Both 19b-4 and S-1 filings must be deemed effective by the SEC before an ETF can begin trading.
Bitcoin ETF advocates hope that the regulated financial product will allow traditional financial institutions and ordinary retail investors to gain exposure to the world's oldest cryptocurrency without having to set up wallets or deal with new financial structures. The SEC has so far rejected every application for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund dating back to 2013.
Although the agency has not yet publicly indicated how it will judge the latest slate of applications, the amount of comments it has provided and amended filings — not to mention the speed with which it is responding — suggests that the roughly a dozen applications to be accepted have been cleared for takeoff.
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