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SEC Pushes Back Decision on Fidelity's Ethereum Spot ETF

Key Takeaways
  • The SEC postpones the decision on Fidelity's Ethereum ETF, extending the deadline to March 5, 2024.
  • Late May is crucial as the SEC must decide on both Fidelity's and VanEck's spot Ethereum ETF proposals, expecting simultaneous decisions.
  • Approval of Bitcoin ETFs doesn't guarantee Ethereum ETF approval, as highlighted by Coin Gabbar.
19-Jan-2024 By: Sudeep Saxena
SEC Pushes Back Deci

SEC May act on Fidelity in March, As With Other Pending Funds

On January 18, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a delay in its decision regarding Fidelity's proposed spot Ethereum ETF. The decision pertains to a proposed rule change seeking approval for Cboe BZX to list and trade shares of Fidelity's planned fund.

Originally filed on November 17, 2023, the proposed rule change was published for public comment in the Federal Register on December 6, 2023. The SEC, initially required to approve, reject, or institute proceedings by January 20, 2024, has opted to utilize a provision allowing a 45-day extension to March 5, 2024.

The SEC is expected to take further action, possibly instituting proceedings concerning Fidelity in March, a course of action it has taken for certain other pending funds.

SEC Set to Make Decision on Ethereum ETFs in May

Bloomberg's ETF analyst, James Seyffart, commented today, characterizing the delay in Fidelity's ETF approval as anticipated. He emphasized the significance of late May deadlines in this context.

This May deadline is linked to the SEC's obligation to either approve or reject VanEck's competing spot Ethereum ETF proposal by May 23. The SEC, having initiated proceedings on VanEck's application, is constrained by further delays.

Typically, the SEC approves similar ETFs simultaneously, suggesting that decisions on all pending spot Ethereum ETFs will likely occur in late May, despite varying application deadlines.

It's worth mentioning that on January 10, Fidelity, VanEck, and several other applicants secured approval for spot Bitcoin ETFs. However, as Coin Gabbar states, the success of Bitcoin ETFs does not guarantee approval for Ethereum ETF proposals.

Legal Showdown Between Coinbase and the SEC

The SEC's decision to postpone comes in the midst of its legal battle with Coinbase, where the federal agency accuses the exchange of selling unregistered securities on its platform.

During Wednesday's hearing, Coinbase contested the SEC's allegations, asserting that none of the tokens on its platform qualify as securities. However, Judge Katherine Polk Failla, presiding over the case, refrained from making a decision as of Wednesday afternoon, expressing apprehensions about regulatory overreach.

Also Read: Google Pursuit of Technological Advancement Sparks Worries

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