SEC Sets Deadline for Spot Bitcoin ETF Applicants — 3 Days Left to Update Filings for Early January Decision

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly set a deadline of Dec. 29 for spot bitcoin ETF applicants to finalize their filing amendments. According to reports, the SEC has told spot bitcoin ETF issuers that applications that are fully updated and filed by this Friday will be considered in the first wave of its spot bitcoin ETF decision.

SEC’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Deadline

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly instructed spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applicants during their meetings last week to finalize the amendments to their registration statements (S-1s) by Dec. 29 to be considered in the first wave of spot bitcoin ETF decision.

Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett shared on social media platform X on Dec. 24:

Confirming the date for final amendments to all S-1s by Friday the 29th. The SEC has told issuers that applications that are fully finished and filed by Friday will be considered in the first wave. Anyone who is not will not be considered.

Moreover, she noted that the SEC has emphasized to the applicants that their spot bitcoin ETF filings cannot mention the in-kind creation method or the applications will not be considered. The regulator has pushed for the use of the cash creation method. “The filings cannot mention in-kind creation or they will be rejected,” Terrett wrote.

Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, and several other spot bitcoin ETF applications have argued for the use of the in-kind model. However, failing to convince the SEC with its revised in-kind model, Blackrock adopted the cash creation model in its latest amendment.

SEC officials held meetings last Thursday with representatives from at least seven companies seeking to launch a spot bitcoin ETF early next year, Reuters reported, citing public memos and insiders. Key participants in these discussions included Blackrock, Grayscale Investments, ARK Invest, and 21shares, the news outlet conveyed, adding that the meetings also included representatives from exchanges where the spot bitcoin ETFs could be traded, such as Nasdaq and Cboe.

Executives from two companies who engaged with the SEC on Thursday told the publication that the regulator suggested during the meeting that approval for the proposed ETFs could come in the first few business days of 2024. They noted that the issuers would be directly notified of the effective date for their ETF launch requests. The first deadline for a spot bitcoin ETF decision next year is Jan. 10 for a joint spot bitcoin ETF proposal from Ark and 21shares.

There are currently 13 spot bitcoin ETF applications pending at the SEC. Many expect the regulator to approve multiple spot bitcoin ETFs at once. Blackrock recently revealed its plan to seed its spot bitcoin ETF with $10 million on Jan. 3. Former SEC internet enforcement chief John Reed Stark said approving spot bitcoin ETFs could be SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s legacy. Gensler issued a warning about investing in crypto last week amid soaring anticipation of spot bitcoin ETF approval.

What do you think about the SEC setting Dec. 29 as the deadline for spot bitcoin ETF applicants? Do you think the regulator is preparing to approve multiple spot bitcoin ETFs in early January? Let us know in the comments section below.

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