SEC chair sees spot Ether ETF S-1 approvals sometime in summer 2024

The NFT Unicorn 00326414-9473-43c0-8ddb-b71764db8868 SEC chair sees spot Ether ETF S-1 approvals sometime in summer 2024 Crypto News

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler suggested to lawmakers that the regulator could sign off on the final approvals for listing and trading shares of spot Ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds within three months.

In a June 13 hearing of the Senate Banking Committee discussing U.S. President Joe Biden’s 2025 budget requests for the SEC, Gensler said he expected the commission to approve S-1 registration statements for asset managers “sometime over the course of this summer.” On May 23, the SEC approved 19b-4 filings from eight companies, but the applications require S-1 approvals before the ETFs can begin trading on U.S. exchanges.

Gary Gensler addressing Senate Banking Committee on June 13. Source: senate.gov

Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty questioned Gensler on why the commission hadn’t “fully approved Ether ETFs,” claiming the SEC chair was not prioritizing a “constructive set of rules of the road for the crypto industry.” Though Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Rostin Behmam said Ether was a commodity in response to Senator Hagerty, Gensler did not directly answer the question but pivoted to Ether ETFs. 

“The Ethereum exchange-traded product of filings that were in front of us from stock exchanges — I think there were eight or nine of them — were all jointly approved,” said Gensler. “Individual issuers still are working through the registration process that’s working smoothly, and I would envision sometime over the course of this summer…”

Final Ether ETF approval could take weeks

The SEC Chair said in a June 5 interview that final spot Ether ETF approvals would “take some time” after greenlighting 19b-4 filings. Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas suggested that launching the Ether products on U.S. exchanges in June was possible but predicted final SEC approvals by July 4.

“July was and is a complete guess,” said ETF analyst James Seyffart on X in response to Gensler’s comments. “But I was more confident in saying that ETH ETFs will launch at some point this summer. That was sort of a given.”

Related: Spot Ether ETFs approved, but Gary Gensler didn’t vote for them — Here’s why

On Jan. 10, the SEC approved 194-b filings for spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs. The investment vehicles began trading on Jan. 11 as the SEC signed off on the effective S-1 prospectuses.

BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust was one of the first ETFs to begin trading on the Nasdaq. The SEC has signed off on the asset manager’s 19b-4 filing — in addition to applications from Fidelity, Grayscale, Bitwise, VanEck, Ark, Invesco Galaxy and Franklin Templeton — but it’s unclear which company will have the first bite at the apple once the S-1 registration statements go through.

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