Gary Gensler: Issuers Determine Ethereum ETF Approval Speed Not Me

Blackrock

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler emphasized in a recent interview that the pace of approval for spot Ethereum ETFs in the United States hinges on the responsiveness of ETF issuers to SEC comments.
  • Gensler’s remarks shed light on the SEC’s recent shift in stance on spot Ether ETFs, hinting at possible influences from Grayscale’s successful legal challenge regarding Bitcoin ETFs in 2023.

In his latest interview, SEC chair Gary Gensler stated that the speed of approval for the spot Ethereum ETFs in the United States will depend on how quickly the issuers respond to comments from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This shows that the SEC Chairman is putting the major onus on the ETH ETF issuers while simultaneously indicating that the SEC is not willing to delay the process itself. Last month on May 23, the SEC gave a nod to the 19b-4 filings for listing the spot Ether ETFs on the exchanges.

However, the issuers are still awaiting the approval of S-1 registrations after which the spot Ether ETFs would go live for trading, per the Crypto News Flash report.

These registrants are self-motivated to be responsive to the comments they get, but it’s really up to them how responsive they are,

Gensler said, per the Reuters report.

The recent statements provide additional insight into Gensler’s remarks made just a day prior on CNBC, during which he mentioned that the forthcoming steps would “take some time.” This led some to speculate that the SEC would proceed cautiously in approving the S-1 Forms.

Grayscale Challenge Forced SEC to Approve the Spot Ether ETF

The SEC’s recent shift in stance on spot Ether ETFs just days before the initial decision deadline has left many puzzled. However, Gensler suggested to Reuters that the change might have been influenced by Grayscale’s successful legal challenge regarding Bitcoin ETFs in 2023.

Grayscale argued in court that since the SEC had already approved Bitcoin futures ETFs, there was no valid reason to deny spot Bitcoin ETFs. This argument played a crucial role in the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in January.

Gensler explained to Reuters that Ethereum’s case bears similarities, as the SEC staff examined the filings and observed correlations comparable to those in the Bitcoin space.

Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart, who had long predicted the low likelihood of Ether ETF approval, was surprised by the decision. Seyffart posited an alternate theory, suggesting that SEC commissioner Jamie Lizárraga may have influenced the reversal of Ether ETFs. Lizárraga’s previous ties to a prominent member of the U.S. Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi, could have played a role, according to Seyffart. In the Bits+Bips podcast from Unchained, Seyffart said:

What I heard from other people was that this could have come from Lizarraga, who spent, I don’t even know, a very long time working — he used to be Nancy Pelosi’s right-hand man.

The Ethereum (ETH) price has been flirting around the $3,800 level for a while and waiting for a catalyst in the form of a final SEC nod. Analysts expected Ether to cross $5,00o and above once the spot Ethereum ETf goes live for trading, per the Crypto News Flash report.

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