The United States SEC's Delay on Spot Bitcoin ETF Proposals: What's Behind It?

Bombolo | News and Media

In recent developments, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made the decision to delay several proposals for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and it's sending ripples through the cryptocurrency community. This article delves into the details of these delays, the potential reasons behind them, and their implications for the cryptocurrency market.

Also Read: The SEC's Decision to Delay ARK Invest's Spot Bitcoin ETF Could Impact 2023 Approval

Understanding the SEC's Decision

The Delayed ETF Applications

The SEC's recent move to delay multiple spot Bitcoin ETF applications, including those from BlackRock, Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie, has taken the cryptocurrency world by surprise. Additionally, there is growing anticipation that similar delays may also impact applications from Fidelity, VanEck, and WisdomTree, as suggested by Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart.

The Timing and the Government Shutdown

So, why the sudden delays? One significant factor at play here is the impending U.S. government "shutdown" expected to occur on October 1st. This could disrupt various federal agencies, including financial regulators like the SEC. With both the House and Senate yet to agree on funding bills to finance government operations, Congress needs to pass 12 separate full-year funding bills by October 1st to avoid a shutdown.

Previous Delays and Future Uncertainties

These delays are not entirely new. The SEC had previously postponed a group of spot Bitcoin ETF applicants in late August when the first deadline was looming. What's more, the third set of deadlines for the seven firms in question is set around mid-January, and there's a possibility of further delays. Ultimately, the SEC must make a final decision by mid-March at the very latest.

Also Read: BlackRock's Spot Bitcoin ETF and Its Impact on Cryptocurrency Markets

The Odds of Approval

A Changing Landscape

In late August, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas estimated that the probability of a spot Bitcoin ETF being approved by the end of 2023 had increased to 75%, up from an earlier estimate of 65%. What's driving this shift? Balchunas pointed to the unanimous and decisive decision reached by the U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit in Grayscale's court win over the SEC as the primary reason behind this increase in odds.

Balchunas is even more optimistic about the future, raising the odds to a whopping 95% by the end of 2024. This suggests that despite the current delays and uncertainties, there is growing confidence that a spot Bitcoin ETF may eventually receive regulatory approval.

In conclusion, the SEC's decision to delay spot Bitcoin ETF proposals has created significant buzz within the cryptocurrency community. While the delays are undoubtedly causing some frustration, they are primarily driven by external factors such as the looming government shutdown. Despite these challenges, experts like Eric Balchunas remain optimistic about the prospects of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval in the near future.

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to BlackRock's Bitcoin ETF: Working Mechanism, Benefits, and Drawbacks


  1. Why is the SEC delaying spot Bitcoin ETF proposals?

    The SEC is delaying these proposals due to the potential government shutdown on October 1st, which could disrupt the agency's operations and decision-making processes.

  2. Which ETF applications have been delayed by the SEC?

    The SEC has delayed applications from various firms, including BlackRock, Invesco, Bitwise, Valkyrie, and there's anticipation of further delays for Fidelity, VanEck, and WisdomTree.

  3. When can we expect a final decision on these ETF applications?

    The SEC is set to make a final decision on these applications by mid-March at the latest, with possible delays around mid-January.

  4. What's driving the increase in the probability of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval?

    The probability of approval has increased due to the decisive decision reached by the U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit in Grayscale's court win over the SEC.

  5. How confident are experts about a spot Bitcoin ETF approval in the future?

    Experts like Eric Balchunas are highly optimistic, with some estimating a 95% probability of approval by the end of 2024.