The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a delay in its decision on several proposals for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including BlackRock, ahead of a potential government shutdown. The applications of Invesco, Bitwise, and Valkyrie were also delayed. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart predicts that the applications from Fidelity, VanEck, and WisdomTree will also be pushed back by the SEC. The delays are expected due to the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. government shutdown.
The announcement comes as Congress faces challenges in agreeing on funding bills, putting the short-term future of the U.S. government in jeopardy. Congress needs to pass 12 separate full-year funding bills by October 1 to avoid a shutdown. The SEC’s decision to delay the spot Bitcoin ETF applicants came two weeks earlier than the scheduled second deadline. The third set of deadlines for the seven firms is around mid-January, and further delays are possible. The SEC is required to make a final decision by mid-March at the latest.
Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas previously estimated a 75% chance of a spot Bitcoin ETF being approved by the end of 2023, citing the U.S. Court of Appeals’ unanimous decision in Grayscale’s court win over the SEC as a significant factor. Balchunas has now raised the odds to 95% by the end of 2024. The delay in the SEC’s decision on the spot Bitcoin ETF proposals adds to the uncertainty surrounding the future of Bitcoin ETFs in the United States.