The Ethereum ETF Race Unleashed

Martin Walker
Sep 7, 2023 at 09:03 am

The exciting race to introduce the inaugural Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States has officially kicked off. This captivating development follows the submission of fresh 19b-4 filings by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), marking the initiation of a countdown that has piqued the interest of many industry observers.

On the 6th of September, the CBOE took the proactive step of filing two 19b-4 applications with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seeking the green light to list the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF and the VanEck Ethereum ETF on the prestigious CBOE BZX Exchange. This strategic shift from the previously employed S-1 filings serves as a clear signal that the gears of regulatory progress are now turning, adding a layer of intrigue to the unfolding drama.

Bloomberg's perceptive ETF analyst, James Seyffart, took to the Twitter stage to announce the commencement of what he whimsically labels "The Spot #Ethereum ETF Race," offering a tantalizing projection of a final decision expected around the 23rd of May, 2024.

For context, a 19b-4 form is the customary vehicle employed by self-regulatory entities, such as stock exchanges, to formally propose alterations to existing regulations to the SEC. Conversely, the S-1 filing, employed previously, merely serves as a preliminary indicator of a company's intention to debut a specific investment product on a national exchange.

The SEC, as part of its regulatory duty, is now obliged to engage in a meticulous review of these 19b-4 filings and ultimately reach a definitive decision. It's worth noting that, as previously witnessed with spot Bitcoin ETFs, the SEC possesses the discretion to extend the timeline for their verdict.

Intriguingly, on the same fateful day of September 6th, a dynamic partnership between ARK Invest and 21Shares resulted in the submission of an S-1 filing to the SEC, while VanEck had embarked on this journey with its S-1 filing as far back as July 2021. This dynamic landscape is poised for further evolution, as Seyffart anticipates a flurry of additional spot Ethereum ETF submissions in the imminent future.

Additionally, on the 17th of August, the SEC hinted at its inclination to endorse Ethereum Futures investment products, igniting fervent discussions within the industry. Concurrently, various entities, such as Grayscale Investments and BlackRock, remain tenaciously engaged in their endeavors to secure approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF. These multifaceted developments underscore the intensifying interest and burgeoning competition within the cryptocurrency investment arena.

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