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A New Wave of Amendments in Spot Bitcoin ETF Filings by the SEC

SEC Releases Updates on Spot Bitcoin ETF Filings, Marking Progress Towards Potential Approvals

Jan 09, 2024
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission begins publishing filing updates for spot Bitcoin ETFs.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made significant strides on January 8 by publishing crucial updates concerning spot Bitcoin ETF filings. At 10:45 p.m. UTC, the SEC's national securities exchange page revealed eight amendments to 19b-4 filings, delineating proposed rule changes for various entities.

Among these filings, six revolve around proposed rule modifications by the Cboe BZX exchange. Their aim is to list and trade ETFs offered by prominent names like WisdomTree, VanEck, Ark Invest, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity, and Invesco Galaxy. Another amendment centers on NASDAQ's endeavor to list and trade Valkyrie’s Bitcoin ETF, while another pertains to NYSE Arca's proposal concerning Hashdex’s ETF.

These recent amendments predominantly address past concerns. They tackle issues such as the substantial size of relevant markets, inclusion of surveillance-sharing agreements, and measures to prevent market manipulation. Each notice confirms that exchanges submitted the pertinent amendments to the SEC on Friday, January 5. Earlier reports align with this timeline, hinting at potential approvals around Wednesday, January 10. Moreover, on January 8, several spot Bitcoin ETF applicants submitted amended registration statements, such as S-1/A and 8-A12B forms.

Presently, there are approximately twelve applicants vying for a spot Bitcoin ETF, indicating the possibility of additional amendments surfacing later.

An interesting highlight from BlackRock's latest S-1 update underscores the absence of immediate in-kind creations and redemptions, crucial for executing certain ETF transactions with Bitcoin instead of cash. “The timing of the In-Kind Regulatory Approval is unknown, and there is no guarantee that NASDAQ will receive … Approval at any point in the future. If NASDAQ receives the In-Kind Regulatory Approval and if the Sponsor chooses to allow in-kind creations and redemptions, the Trust will notify the owners of the beneficial interests of Shares ,” the update stated.

S-1 registration statements from BlackRock and other firms also include new information, such as fee and seed funding details. Most firms submitted nearly finalized S-1 amendments on or before the December 29, 2023 deadline. As a result, the latest amendments do not significantly alter the structure of each application but mainly add details.

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