According to three people familiar in the process, prospective spot bitcoin ETF issuers are prepared and able to begin trading as early as next week, provided the Securities and Exchange Commission approves the required papers.
Issuers and exchanges must first prepare some final filings.
A source claims that Grayscale Investments is aiming to file an amended form 19b-4 within the next three business days. According to the source, this is required because the prior documentation was submitted months ago and needs to be updated. This would probably appear on the NYSE website in a regulatory section initially.
According to a second source, the potential spot bitcoin ETF issuers will also need to submit final S-1 forms that specify the fees, list the approved participants, and eliminate any bracketed items.
The SEC would have to approve each fund’s outstanding 19b-4 form before spot bitcoin ETFs could launch. These forms would probably initially show up on the SEC’s website. Additionally, the S-1 forms must become operational. The approvals of the individual forms won’t always occur simultaneously.
“Trading will begin the morning after both are true,” a source at one potential issuer stated.
Trading may begin as early as the following week.
According to one source, trade might start as early as Thursday or Friday next week, and the 19b-4 approvals are expected to come mid-to-late next week. Another source pointed out that since several spot bitcoin ETFs—like BlackRock’s—have deadlines in March, there is still some uncertainty.
According to Eric Balchunas, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence ETF, on X, “The SEC is providing final comments right now, and issuers will submit final 19b-4s and S-1s shortly after.” Thus, this is [certainly] as close to being “done” as we’ve been, but as far as I know, there hasn’t been any formal approval.”
In response to inquiries via email, an SEC representative informed The Block, “We don’t comment on individual filings.” “Generally speaking, EDGAR reflects the Commission’s declaration that a registration statement is valid. Any orders issued under Commission 19b-4 will first appear on our website before being published in the Federal Register.”
The development of a spot bitcoin ETF
Several potential spot bitcoin ETF issuers have moved the process along by submitting Form 8-As in the previous two days. This involves Grayscale, Fidelity, Ark Investments, Valkyrie, and VanEck, among others. The action denotes registration, which permits issuers to trade on an exchange following product approval.
Issuers and the SEC have been collaborating extensively over the past few months to address any outstanding issues. Three major concerns have been resolved: which redemption models to use, who can name participants who are authorized, and how to handle hard forks and airdrops.
For instance, during the previous week, BlackRock listed JP Morgan Securities and Jane Street Capital as permitted participants. Cantor Fitzgerald and Jane Street Capital were named by the Valkyrie. It’s also said that Goldman Sachs wants to become involved.