Analyst Predicts SEC Will Approve First Spot Bitcoin ETF by Mid-March Next Year

Asset management firm Bernstein has predicted that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve its first spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) between mid-October and mid-March next year. The firm’s analyst believes that “the crypto ETF opportunity won’t just stop at bitcoin but will extend into multiple crypto assets.”

Bernstein’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Prediction

Gautam Chhugani, managing director and senior analyst of Global Digital Assets at asset management firm Bernstein, has predicted that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve its first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) by mid-March next year.

He explained in a note on Monday that the court ruling in favor of crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments last week regarding the firm’s proposed bitcoin ETF conversion is a “game changer.” Calling the ruling “a landmark win against the SEC,” he emphasized: “The ruling went beyond the GBTC conversion, but laid unambiguous principles for regulators to evaluate spot crypto ETF applications.” The Bernstein analyst shared:

We suspect the crypto ETF opportunity won’t just stop at bitcoin but will extend into multiple crypto assets.

Chhugani continued: “The strong showing in the courts (Ripple and Grayscale in 2 months), improved ETF chances and the progressive institutional interest, is in contrast to the retail-led crypto cycles of the past.” He noted: “This is a cycle slower to take off, but is being laid on much stronger fundamental grounds of regulatory clarity and more strategic long-term players entering the space.”

Recently, District Judge Analisa Torres partially ruled in favor of Ripple Labs against the securities watchdog regarding the offers and sales of XRP. The SEC is currently seeking to appeal the court decision.

While the SEC has greenlighted several bitcoin futures ETFs, it has not approved any bitcoin spot ETFs, citing various concerns such as market manipulation. However, the analyst highlighted that the Grayscale decision refuted the SEC’s argument, as the court determined that “bitcoin futures prices are ultimately based on spot market prices.” He emphasized:

Thus, we believe, the crypto industry will get its first bitcoin ETF between mid-October and mid-March 2024 (the scheduled review dates).

The SEC has delayed decisions on all spot bitcoin ETF applications to the first quarter of next year, including one filed by Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager. Former SEC Chair Jay Clayton said last week that the approval of a spot bitcoin ETF is inevitable, noting that institutional investors clearly want access to BTC.

When do you think the SEC will approve a spot bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments section below.

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