The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has an eight-day window from November 8 to November 17 to approve the first spot Bitcoin ETF. If approved, experts believe it will still be a month before the ETF is actually launched.
Analysts have pointed out that there would be a delay in the launch of a spot Bitcoin ETF even if the SEC approves it. This is because launching an ETF involves a two-step process. First, an issuer must get SEC approval from the Trading and Markets division on its 19b-4 filing, and then from the Corporate Finance division on the S-1 filing or prospectus. The Corporate Finance division focuses on fund operations details and risk disclosures. Of the 12 Bitcoin ETF applications, nine issuers have submitted revised prospectuses showing that they have communicated with Corporate Finance.
Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart noted that even if the 19b-4 is approved, an S-1 approval could take weeks or even months between approval and launch.
The SEC had extended the deadline for public comments on the spot Bitcoin ETF until November 8. The current cycle has led many experts to predict a high chance of approval for the spot ETF, with estimates as high as 90%.
The spot Bitcoin ETF race in the U.S. began with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, filing its application. While other asset managers like Fidelity have also filed for spot Bitcoin ETFs, most of them faced rejections or withdrew their applications.
Analysts believe that even if the SEC approves a spot Bitcoin ETF, it will take time to be launched. The process involves multiple steps and divisions within the SEC, and this may contribute to a delay. The extension of the comment period until November 8, and the high chances of approval in the current cycle, have sparked increased interest and speculation surrounding the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF.
Overall, while the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF from the SEC could be a significant development for the cryptocurrency market, it is important to recognize that the process of launching such an ETF involves multiple steps and regulatory requirements, which could potentially lead to delays even after approval.