Grayscale’s Ethereum ETF just entered a 240-day review process. Its Bitcoin cousin is expected in January – Fortune


The U.S. government on Friday published an application by crypto giant Grayscale to launch an Ethereum ETF for the spot market. Grayscale first applied for the ETF in early October, but the petition’s appearance on the Federal Reserve is significant because it starts a 240-day clock by which the Securities and Exchange Commission must respond.
The start of the Ethereum ETF process also coincides with a surge in crypto prices this month that analysts believe is correlated to impending decisions by the SEC on a batch of Bitcoin ETF applications by Grayscale, BlackRock, and others.
Since the start of October, Bitcoin prices have jumped around 27% while Ethereum has climbed 7%.
Many in the crypto industry believe the approval of ETF products, which make it easy for retail investors to buy various assets in the form of shares, will result in a flood of new liquidity into the markets.
While Grayscale has sought to launch a Bitcoin ETF for years, the SEC has rebuffed these efforts, leading the company to sue the agency last year. In late August, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a unanimous and resounding decision that opened the door to widespread expectations that the SEC would issue an approval soon.
Many industry watchers have circled early January for when the SEC is likely to grant approval, in part because that will coincide with another “shot clock” deadline for a Bitcoin ETF application by the crypto hedge fund Ark Invest.
While Ark is currently at the head of the approval queue, it remains to be seen if the SEC will approve its application first or instead approve a larger batch of applicants all at once. It’s also possible, though unlikely, the agency will find a new pretext to delay or not approve the Bitcoin ETF applications.
The process has been slow and convoluted in part because it involves a two-part approval—one to permit exchanges to list crypto ETFs, and a separate one for individual companies to issue the ETFs.
In a quirk of the regulatory process, the SEC has approved futures ETFs for both Bitcoin and Ethereum. While these are also crypto ETFs, the underlying assets they contain are not digital assets but instead futures contracts that are well understood only by investors well-versed in derivatives.
In response to a request for comment about the ETF application, a company spokeswoman said: “The filing reflects Grayscale’s ongoing commitment to converting its entire family of crypto investment products to ETFs.”
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