- The SEC has yet to finalize its response to a court ruling on spot Bitcoin
- Recent court decision favors Grayscale Investments’ bid for an ETF conversion.
- “It’s still an active consideration of the commission,” comments SEC Chair Gary Gensler.
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As the U.S. government braces for a potential shutdown, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s deliberations on Bitcoin ETFs face unforeseen delays, casting uncertainty over future approvals.
SEC’s Reaction to Recent Court Ruling
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently concluded that the SEC’s refusal of Grayscale Investments’ proposal to convert its Bitcoin Trust into an ETF was “arbitrary and capricious.” This verdict has stirred optimism among industry experts, forecasting a possible launch of several Bitcoin ETFs from leading firms like BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, and Invesco. However, the SEC may still decline these proposals based on reasons not evaluated by the court.
Gensler’s Take on the Matter
During a House Financial Services Committee session, SEC Chair Gary Gensler expressed that the agency is meticulously weighing the appellate court’s judgment. Gensler highlighted the ongoing deliberations within the commission, indicating he wouldn’t pre-empt the decisions of his colleagues or staff. The impending government shutdown, which might commence soon, threatens to push back any resolutions on this matter.
Impending Deadlines and Possible Delays
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A critical juncture for ETF proponents is anticipated in mid-October when the SEC will determine its stance on appealing the Grayscale verdict. If a shutdown transpires, federal courts might operate for an additional fortnight, though potential rescheduling of court mandates is on the horizon. Concurrently, the SEC faces several mid-October deadlines to address numerous Bitcoin ETF application submissions. During the recent hearing, Gensler unveiled that such a shutdown might result in a staggering 92% furlough of the SEC’s workforce. Consequently, this would prioritize only the most pressing tasks. Notably, the SEC has already postponed some Bitcoin ETF proposals to 2024, preempting its typical last-minute response strategy.
Future Prospects Amid Uncertainties
Even if the SEC grants approval to the ETF applications next month, numerous fund entities must still present their prospectuses and related documents for SEC endorsement, a process that could span several weeks. While the SEC may find its hands tied in preventing the rollout of Bitcoin ETFs, a government closure could jeopardize a 2023 launch for these financial products.
The landscape for Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. remains shrouded in ambiguity. While recent court decisions seem favorable for prospective issuers, potential government shutdowns and bureaucratic challenges cast a shadow over the timeline for these offerings. Investors and market participants must remain vigilant, closely monitoring regulatory updates and the broader implications of government decisions on the crypto market’s evolution.