Ethereum ETF Frenzy: Fin Firms Rush to Submit Amended Proposals, Drop Staking Language

May 22, 2024

Financial giants Fidelity, VanEck, Invesco/Galaxy, Ark/21Shares, and Franklin Templeton, in an electrifying rush, have swiftly submitted their amended proposals for Ethereum ETFs within a tight 25-minute window.

These proposals, delivered via the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), mark a critical shift by removing staking language, underscoring a unified and strategic effort to align with regulatory demands and expedite the potential approval of these eagerly awaited investment vehicles.

In a significant update on the much-anticipated development of spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst James Seyffart hinted that these crypto investment vehicles might finally be “happening.”

Seyffart noted that at least five potential Ethereum ETF issuers—Fidelity, VanEck, Invesco/Galaxy, Ark/21Shares, and Franklin—have submitted their amended 19b-4 forms within the past 25 minutes. These submissions, all made via the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), signal a coordinated effort to move closer to the approval and launch of these highly sought-after ETFs.

The analyst also highlighted a critical modification in the applications: all five ETH ETF applicants removed the staking language, ensuring that the fund’s ETH cannot be staked by anyone. “This is the only meaningful & substantial change that I can find? Removing the staking language and adding very clear language that the Fund’s ETH cannot be staked by anyone,” he noted.

While Seyffart reaffirmed that the odds of approval remain at 75%, he clarified that the path to launch could still be lengthy. “Still a potentially long way from a launch. But these filings prove that all of the rumors and speculation and chatter have been accurate. Need to actually see SEC approval orders on all the 19b-4s AND THEN we need to see S-1 approvals. Could be weeks or more before ETFs launch,” he explained.

The Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, addressing widespread misconceptions, clarified that the approval of Ethereum ETFs does not equate to their immediate launch. “Bumping this post. Seeing broad misconceptions that ‘approvals’ mean immediate launches of the #Ethereum ETFs. This isn’t necessarily the case. There will be days (at a minimum), likely at least weeks, and potentially months between approval and launches here,” Seyffart said in a separate post on X.

Finance lawyer Scott Johnson emphasized the complexity and potential length of the SEC’s review process for the Ethereum ETF applications. “SEC spent nearly 4 months reviewing and iterating BTC spot S-1s and 5 months reviewing BTC futures S-1s. If Division of Corporation Finance indeed was told about this potential approval yesterday, then they’re likely just getting started. Nothing about this situation is straightforward, so difficult to know how quickly they try to push forward this process,” he explained.

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