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SEC Chair says Ethereum ETF approval to come this summer

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on Jun 13, 2024
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  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler said that Ethereum ETFs are expected to be approved this summer.
  • The initial approval of eight spot Ether ETFs involved the removal of staking provisions.
  • CFTC Chairman Rostin Behmam agrees that Ethereum is a commodity.

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Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will be approved this summer, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler. 

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The revelation was made during a budget hearing on Thursday. During the hearing, Gensler added that the approval process has been going smoothly since the initial approval.

Ether ETFs coming this summer

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Back in May, the regulator had approved applications for the listing of eight spot Ether ETFs. While it wasn’t a green light to initiate trading, the 19-b forms were approved. 

This is the initial hurdle when applying for an ETF. 

The SEC considered proposals from the Nasdaq, NYSE, and CBOE exchanges. The proposal included several key changes to the filing. 

One of the key provisions was the removal of staking. 

Initially, some issuers intended to stake a portion of the funds they held. However, the regulator views staking as a distribution of unregistered securities.

ETF issuers had to amend their filings, which ultimately got the SEC’s blessing.

Now, the crypto industry is eagerly awaiting the approval of the S-1 filings, which, according to Gensler, is being handled at the “staff level.”

Gensler’s comments came in response to Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty. The senator asked Gensler why the SEC hadn’t “fully approved Ether ETFs.”

Further, Hagerty claimed that the SEC was not prioritising the creation of a “constructive set of rules” for the cryptocurrency sector.

The SEC chair, however, did not answer why the first step of approval was delayed. He asserted that the eight filings were “all jointly approved.”

He noted that “individual issuers still are working through the registration process” which is going “smoothly.”  The S-1 filings are expected to be approved “sometime over the course of this summer[..],” per Gensler.

Gensler dodges ETH security question

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Interestingly, Hagerty had also asked Gensler whether Ethereum is a security or not. Yet again, Gensler did not provide a direct answer and discussed the ETF filings.

However, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Rostin Behmam agreed that Ethereum was a commodity in response to the Senator.

Gensler has long been criticised for his vague stance regarding the classification of Ethereum. Interestingly, he has also been slammed for a 2018 video where he has been seen claiming Ethereum is not a security.

With the SEC chair’s recent comments, the filling approval can be expected sometime within September.

According to Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, the approval could come in June. However, he added that he would be more comfortable saying it would arrive “some point this summer.”

At the time of publication, Franklin Templeton, Bitwise, VanEck, Ark, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale, and Fidelity are awaiting S-1 approval.

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