Bitcoin spot ETF: What are the odds of approval? – Yahoo Finance

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Questions are swirling about whether or not the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will approve a spot bitcoin ETF (BTC-USD). Yahoo Finance Crypto Reporter David Hollerith explains that eight companies have filed for approval since BlackRock (BLK) did so back in June. Hollerith explains the situation, stating “The SEC has several opportunities from here to either approve, deny or push off approval for these applications.” Hollerith notes that many argue that Bitcoin is “not regulated enough and too manipulatable” as reasons for pushback against the potential spot ETF.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: Well, a lot of speculation has surrounded the chances of a Bitcoin spot ETF being approved, given how much scrutiny the sector is feeling from regulators. Let’s bring in Yahoo Finance’s David Hollerith to discuss this more. David, we know that– we’ve been hearing a lot about the potential for this, but not seeing any companies quite make it to the finish line just yet.
DAVID HOLLERITH: Hey, Rachelle. Since BlackRock’s filing, which happened earlier this summer, there’s been eight other companies who’ve refiled applications to list a spot Bitcoin ETF, and that’s included ARK Invest, Bitwise, VanEck, WisdomTree, and Invesco.
And now, the SEC has several opportunities from here to either approve, deny, or simply push off approval for these applications. They can’t push off approval after six months from now. That’s when we’ll have a definite decision about whether or not the agency would be OK with listing these products.
But that being said, earlier this month, ARK Invest application was pushed off approval, and the deadline for these other applications from the other asset managers are coming at the beginning of September. And John Reed Stark, who is a former attorney for the SEC’s enforcement division, weighed in on this at the beginning of– or excuse me, the end of last week. And he had said, he puts the chances at slim to none.
Stark, obviously having worked for the agency, does know a lot about the enforcement division, and his thoughts are that the Bitcoin spot market is too– it’s a little bit too not regulated enough and a little bit too manipulable, which has been the argument in past years for a why there’s been no approval.
But a lot of people have really come out around the BlackRock filing. And Bloomberg’s ETF team– Bloomberg Intelligence’s ETF team, which has been more bullish on the prospects of approval in the coming six months has said, the question is really what could BlackRock know that these other filers didn’t know at the time?
They added a surveillance sharing agreement, which has been taken as a new addition to this. And potentially, people have said that might be what will make the change for the SEC to approve it. But at this point, it is still pretty unclear about how things could go. We’re looking at the Grayscale lawsuit with the SEC, which we’re expecting a verdict on any week now. And that’s expected usually on a Tuesday or a Friday is when these verdicts come out.
And obviously, Grayscale is trying to convert their GBTC product into an ETF. And that’s been a long battle. So we could see some more clarity into the SEC’s thinking with that verdict or at least with what they have to do next, depending on the judge’s interpretations. But we’re not expecting it to be a clear path for ETFs either, given that the verdict could mean a few different things.
But that being said, Bloomberg’s team, which again, I said, has been a little bit more bullish, has said the odds of a Bitcoin spot ETF, they’ve placed it at around 65% at this point. So that’s much better than it was before BlackRock filed for the product.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, you figure if BlackRock can’t make it, what chance does some of these smaller companies have indeed? But thank you for getting us up to speed. And we will be taking a look at those enforcement actions as well. Our very own David Hollerith. Thanks so much.
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