On January 10, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) greenlit spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds for the first time.
The agency previously delayed a decision on the fund in December and on Tuesday said it was “instituting proceedings.”
“Institution of proceedings is appropriate at this time given the legal and policy issues raised by the proposed rule change,” the SEC said in a filing.
However, the SEC has yet to decide on Invesco and Galaxy Digital’s spot in Ether ETF and has delayed its announcement.
On February 6, the SEC initiated proceedings to determine whether to allow the Cboe BZX Exchange to list and trade shares of the Invesco Galaxy Ethereum ETF.
The proposed investment vehicle will undergo a 35-day public comment period after publication in the Federal Register.
The SEC has a maximum of 240 days, including any extensions, to approve or reject the Invesco Galaxy spot Ether ETF. Invesco filed for the spot Ether ETF in October 2023, with publication in the Federal Register in November 2023, giving the SEC until July 2024 for a decision.
Since the SEC’s historic decision on spot Bitcoin ETFs, ETFs from multiple asset managers have been available for trading on U.S. exchanges.
Over the past weeks, the SEC has postponed various other spot Ethereum ETFs, including applications from Fidelity on Jan. 18, BlackRock on Jan. 24, and Grayscale on Jan. 25. These delays, however, do not alter the broader decision deadline set for May.
The likelihood of the SEC approving a spot Ethereum ETF remains uncertain. The polymarket prediction market currently suggests a 43% chance of approval by May. Seyffart estimates a 60% chance, while a JP Morgan member suggests 50%.
Several firms, including BlackRock, Hashdex, ARK 21Shares, VanEck, and Fidelity, have submitted proposals for spot Ethereum ETFs, which are still under SEC review.
VanEck is likely to receive the commission’s decision first, with the SEC’s deadline for a ruling on May 23.