SEC Postpones Decision on Multiple Bitcoin ETFs

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  • The SEC has dashed hopes of quick Bitcoin ETF approvals by postponing decisions on most applications, including those from BlackRock and Fidelity
  • Bitcoin dropped over 4%, erasing the gains from the Grayscale win
  • The SEC’s stance against Bitcoin and the crypto sector remains firm, and the recent Grayscale loss has further hardened its position against a Bitcoin ETF

Any enthusiasm garnered by Grayscale’s legal victory over the SEC this week has been dashed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which postponed a decision over all but one outstanding Bitcoin ETF applications. Among the Bitcoin ETFs delayed include filings by Blackrock and Fidelity, eviscerating any hopes that the SEC would buckle under the pressure of the court’s recent decision to vacate its order to dismiss the Grayscale Bitcoin ETF application. Bitcoin dropped over 4% on the news, wiping out the gains made after the Grayscale win.

Major Players See Decisions Delayed

Among the filings kicked down the road by the SEC include those by BlackRock, Fidelity, Wisdom Tree, Invesco, Galaxy Digital, and Valkyrie. In a series of disclosures yesterday, the SEC delayed all existing applications one by one, with the exception of Global X, which has a response deadline of October 7.

October will see the next rash of decisions made, with Bitwise’s application having a new deadline of October 16 and Valkyrie’s application set for a ruling on October 19. A decision on all the others will not be made until at least October 17. The SEC had until September 2 to make these rulings but chose to put them out on August 31.

Delays Aren’t a Surprise

The SEC’s decision is not surprising for those who are able to see the situation with a rational outlook and not get swept up in the euphoria of the Grayscale decision. The SEC detests Bitcoin and the crypto sector and wants to see it eliminated from the United States, so there was no chance of any of the Bitcoin ETF applications getting approved, especially on the first go around.

The only reason futures ETFs have been approved is because they don’t touch the underlying asset (although, as the court ruled in the Grayscale case, this actually doesn’t matter, which could spell trouble for these futures ETFs).

The Grayscale loss will only have hardened the SEC’s heart against the idea of a Bitcoin ETF, so it is only natural that the embittered agency would do all it can to prevent the crypto sector getting what it wants. Every single Bitcoin ETF application to date has been pushed to the end deadline of the three that the SEC allows itself before getting rejected, and unless there have been significant improvements on the issue of market surveillance, which SEC chair Gary Gensler has hinted there aren’t, there will be some very disappointed people come the final deadlines for the Blackrock and Fidelity applications come January 2024.