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‘Clear runway’ opens for all Bitcoin ETF approvals in Jan: Analysts

source-logo  cointelegraph.com 29 November 2023 02:21, UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States now have a “clear runway” to potential simultaneous approvals after an advanced decision to delay the bids of Franklin Templeton and Hashdex ETFs, according to ETF analysts.

In a Nov. 28 X (Twitter) post, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart said the Securities and Exchange Commission delayed its decision on the applications 34 days earlier than the Jan. 1, 2024, decision deadline.

The SEC requested comments on forms by Templeton and Hashdex that are necessary for the ETFs to eventually be listed and start trading. The comment and rebuttal period will last 35 days.

Seyffart and his colleague Eric Balchunas had placed 90% odds on spot Bitcoin ETF approvals by Jan. 10 next year, and the twin delays “all but confirms for me that this was likely a move to line every applicant up for potential approval by the Jan 10, 2024 deadline,” Seyffart said.

Balchunas agreed, posting to X that the SEC was “prob looking to get them out of the way, clear runway.”

Prob looking to get them out of the way, clear runway

— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) November 28, 2023

Commercial litigator Joe Carlasare thinks, however, the delays increase the probability of a March 2024 approval as the comment period for Franklin’s ETF bid was extended until Jan. 3, 2024, and the SEC typically takes a maximum of three weeks to review comments.

The Franklin BItcoin spot ETF comment period now extends until January 3rd.

The SEC typically reviews comments for at least 2-3 weeks. Therefore, although it’s not guaranteed, this increases the probability of a March approval.

January is still likely the favorite though.

— Joe Carlasare (@JoeCarlasare) November 28, 2023

“January is still likely the favorite though,” he added.

On Nov. 28, Franklin also submitted an updated Form S-1 for its ETF — a document registering securities with the SEC — after Seyffart earlier highlighted it was the only bidder yet to submit an updated prospectus.

Reacting to the filing, Balchunas said while he’s in favor of letting all ETFs launch simultaneously, it “seems kinda unfair” that Franklin might be allowed to launch its ETF the same day as other providers despite submitting the form months later.

While I'm generally in favor in letting them launch at same time, Franklin jumped in sooo late vs others, like 5mo after ARK filed and yet they may be able to launch the same day.. seems kinda unfair... but i suppose SEC can't really draw any lines here

— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) November 28, 2023

There are currently 12 spot Bitcoin ETFs before the SEC, including bids from Grayscale and BlackRock. Most have final decision dates in March, besides ARK Invest’s bid, which the SEC must approve or deny by Jan. 10, 2024.