Lawmakers Ratchet Up Pressure on SEC for Ethereum ETF Approval, Talks Emerge with Issuers

May 23, 2024

As the May 23rd deadline for a decision on Ethereum ETFs looms, pressure is mounting on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from both lawmakers and the industry. This comes after a period of uncertainty, with many issuers – including those behind the recently approved Bitcoin ETFs – expressing doubt about their Ethereum counterparts receiving the green light.

Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN), a vocal advocate for cryptocurrency, led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in a letter urging the SEC to approve Ethereum ETFs. The letter highlights the growing institutional interest in Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, and argues that an ETF would provide a regulated and transparent investment vehicle for investors.

Interestingly, Emmer is one of several lawmakers who previously sponsored a House Resolution calling for SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s removal. The resolution cited concerns about Gensler’s handling of cryptocurrency regulation. This apparent contradiction underscores the complex political landscape surrounding cryptocurrency in the U.S.

However, a recent development suggests a potential shift in the SEC’s approach. According to industry sources, the SEC has initiated talks with some Ethereum ETF issuers regarding final adjustments to their S-1 registration statements. These discussions, while not a guarantee of approval, could indicate a willingness on the SEC’s part to work with issuers to address their concerns.

The approval of Bitcoin ETFs in January marked a significant milestone for cryptocurrency regulation. However, Ethereum presents a unique set of challenges for the SEC. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s network facilitates a wider range of activities, including decentralized finance (DeFi). The SEC may be concerned about the potential for market manipulation and investor protection issues within the DeFi ecosystem.

The coming days will be crucial for the future of Ethereum ETFs in the U.S. With lawmakers applying pressure and the SEC seemingly open to dialogue, there’s a flicker of hope for investors eager for a regulated way to access this major cryptocurrency.

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