The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pushed its decision on applications for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) until October. The applicants include BlackRock, WisdomTree, Bitwise, VanEck, Invesco Galaxy, Valkyrie and Fidelity.
In Aug. 31 filings, the SEC said it found it appropriate to designate a longer period within which it could act on the proposed rule change, naming Oct. 19 as the proposed date for it to either approve or deny the applications.
JUST IN: SEC is opting to delay (as expected) on spot bitcoin ETF deadlines pic.twitter.com/W4JjOji6L2
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) August 31, 2023
The decision to delay comes after an appellate court ruled that the SEC would need to review Grayscale Investment’s petition to convert its flagship Bitcoin fund GBTC into an ETF earlier this week.
U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Neomi Rao ruled that the SEC’s denial of Grayscale’s proposal was “arbitrary and capricious” and that the Commission failed to adequately explain how its treatment of spot Bitcoin ETFs was different to futures Bitcoin ETFs.
Although market participants largely expected the securities regulator to delay its decision on the spot Bitcoin ETF applications, Bitcoin still declined 4% to $26,100 following the news.
“We will not be surprised if the SEC delays given the ruling JUST happened. That said, not sure timelines will matter as much in this situation, prob more likely we wake up one day and hear SEC has given in and launch imminent,” wrote Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas in an X post earlier in the day.
Still, Balchunas is optimistic that the SEC will give in and approve the product to be traded on exchanges, opining that the odds of a spot Bitcoin ETF being approved are still at 75%.
Meanwhile, Tom Lee, the Head of Research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, believes that Bitcoin’s price could reach $150,000 by the end of next year if a spot Bitcoin ETF is approved.