The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will reportedly hold meetings with the nation’s largest stock exchanges on Wednesday, refining all details related to a suite of Bitcoin ETF applications.
“The SEC is holding meetings today with the exchanges (Nasdaq, CBOE, NYSE) to finalize comments on the 19b-4s submitted by the $BTC Spot ETF issuers,” wrote FOX Business journalist Eleanor Terrett to X on Wednesday.
— Eleanor Terrett (@EleanorTerrett) January 3, 2024
A 19b-4 SEC form is used by stock exchanges and other self-regulatory organizations to record rule changes with the SEC.
In June 2023, Nasdaq filed for permission to list shares of BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust, inspiring a slew of fund sponsors and their relevant exchanges to file for competing Bitcoin spot ETF products.
Until now, the regulator has denied all such applications, with SEC chair Gary Gensler fearing that they face a greater risk of market manipulation than previously approved Bitcoin futures ETFs.
However, following a court loss to crypto investment giant Grayscale in August, the chairman has been forced to take a “fresh evaluation” of all such applications.
Indeed, investment managers from Cathie Wood of Ark Invest to Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital have noted increased engagement from the agency regarding their spot ETF applications since the Grayscale court battle ended.
When Will ETFs Be Approved?
The SEC is required by law to officially approve or deny Ark’s ETF application before January 10. As such, given recent events, Bloomberg’s ETF analysts expect long-awaited, simultaneous approvals for most or all ETF applicants within the week.
Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas, for example, said on Wednesday that the agency likely wouldn’t be holding meetings with stock exchanges if it wasn’t planning to approve the ETFs.
“When we see updated (final) 19b-4s roll in that is sign approval imminent as SEC has been doing back and forth w issuers offline to perfect their 19b-4s,” he stated.
Bitcoin’s price dropped drastically on Wednesday back to $42,000 after tapping a 21-month high at $45,500 a day prior.
Some community members attributed the fall to a new Matrixport article predicting that the Bitcoin ETFs will be denied by the SEC, thus stonewalling a wave of institutional capital that many investors expect such a product to attract.
John Palmer, the president of CBOE Digital, recently predicted that Bitcoin ETFs will draw new investments from both pensions and IRA-based funds.
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