Spot Bitcoin ETF Hopes Lifted by SEC Move

Spot Bitcoin ETF Hopes Lifted by SEC Move

Analysts say SEC opening comment period on Franklin Templeton application is positive sign.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Mark Nacinovich

The Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated a public comment period on spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund applications from Wall Street investment-management firm Franklin Templeton and Brazil-based cryptocurrency-focused investment firm Hashdex, the agency announced in a filing on Nov. 28.  
 
The SEC has 240 days to approve or deny an ETF filing and must provide an update on its decision at certain intervals. It wasn’t due for another decision on Franklin Templeton's application until Jan. 1. Starting the public comment period earlier than that may indicate that the SEC is accelerating its timeline for an anticipated “spotcoin” ETF approval.  
 
Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart wrote on X, the social-media platform formerly called Twitter, that the SEC move to open a comment period on Hashdex “all but confirms for me that this was likely a move to line every applicant up for potential approval by the Jan. 10, 2024 deadline.” 

Franklin Templeton, which has about $1.5 trillion in assets under management, first filed for a spot bitcoin ETF in October. Its filing was previously delayed on Nov. 15.  
 
On Nov. 29, Franklin Templeton amended its prospectus, saying that it had responded to the SEC’s questions and concerns about its application.  

Spot Bitcoin ETFs 

While asset managers have attempted to roll out a spot bitcoin ETF for years, the SEC has denied or delayed those funds based on concerns about market manipulation and investor protection.  
 
Yet, after the SEC lost a watershed lawsuit to Grayscale Investments in August, it began to work more closely with about a dozen firms to potentially bring the funds to market.  

Many hopeful firms, including ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood, believe the SEC will approve multiple applications all at once to avoid giving any single firm a first-mover advantage.  

 Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected]

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.