Spot Ethereum ETF Trading Launch Could Be Delayed, Says SEC Chair Gary Gensler

Zinger Key Points
  • Despite initial approvals, listing and trading of spot Ether ETFs on U.S. exchanges could still be months away.
  • Gensler stated that crypto firms are engaging in activities not allowed for traditional exchanges, signaling ongoing enforcement.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has signaled that the final approval of spot Ether ETH/USD exchange-traded funds (ETFs) might face delays.

What Happened: In a June 5 interview on CNBC, Gensler remarked that the SEC's next steps regarding the approval of these ETFs will “take some time.”

This suggests a cautious and potentially prolonged approach in approving the S-1 registration statements.

On May 23, the SEC approved 19b-4 filings from several major asset managers including VanEck, BlackRock BLK, Fidelity, Grayscale, Franklin Templeton, ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy and Bitwise.

Despite these approvals, the actual listing and trading of these ETFs on U.S. exchanges may still be months away.

During the interview, Gensler also pointed out that cryptocurrency firms were engaging in activities not permitted for traditional exchanges, indicating that the SEC's stringent enforcement actions would continue under his leadership.

Notably, the SEC has pursued legal action against companies such as Ripple XRP/USD, Coinbase COIN, Binance BNB/USD and Kraken.

However, the commission has faced its own challenges, including a court-ordered payment of $1.8 million over misconduct allegations.

Also Read: Why Bitcoin Might Not Hit A New All-Time High This Month: 10x Research

Why It Matters: While the approval process for spot Ether ETFs may be slow, the SEC has initiated steps towards their eventual listing.

The 19b-4 approvals for spot Ether ETFs came about five months after similar approvals for spot Bitcoin ETFs, a first for the industry.

Prior to Gensler’s comments, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas had predicted a July 4 launch date for the spot Ether ETFs.

Unlike the spot Bitcoin ETFs, the decision to approve spot Ether ETFs was made by the SEC's Trading and Markets Division rather than through a vote by the five commissioners.

Gensler, who is expected to serve as SEC chair until 2026, did not specify an exact timeline for the final approvals.

What’s Next: The regulatory landscape and its impact on digital assets will be a focal point at the upcoming Benzinga Future of Digital Assets event on Nov. 19.

Read Next: Potential Email Vendor Breach Puts Crypto Companies On Alert

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