The 8-Day ETF Approval Window Opens

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For many in the cryptocurrency space, the long-awaited approval of a Bitcoin ETF in the United States seems imminent. According to analysts at Bloomberg and elsewhere, the SEC has an eight-day window starting today to make a decision on 12 pending spot Bitcoin ETF applications. Let’s take a deeper look at what this means.

What is this approval window?

As analysts James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas of Bloomberg point out, the SEC gave itself a deadline extension last month for spot Bitcoin ETF applications. It selected November 8th as the last day for public comments. This opens an eight day window from November 9th through the 17th for the agency to theoretically approve multiple filings at once.

In the past, the SEC has issued “delay orders” for applications like those from BlackRock, VanEck and Fidelity. But approving several in the same window could streamline the process. As Seyffart notes, this timing lines up with Grayscale’s recent court victory affirming its ability to convert its trusts into an ETF.

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Is approval guaranteed?

ETF Approval

Not necessarily. Even if the rule change for Bitcoin ETFs is approved, each fund’s registration statement needs individual sign-off from the SEC. Approval of the rule is separate from approving any certain product.

As analyst Scott Melker points out, there may be weeks or months between rule approval and ETF launches as registration statements are processed. Still, the optimistic view is that the SEC now feels pressured to act after Grayscale’s legal win.

Grayscale talks with the SEC

Grayscale has initiated discussions with the SEC about converting GBTC since prevailing in court. The crypto asset manager is answering questions from the agency’s Trading and Markets and Corporate Finance divisions.
If approved, Grayscale’s $17 billion trust transitioning to a spot ETF could flood big money into Bitcoin. But approval remains uncertain, and other trust-to-ETF conversions may take more regulatory work.

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