SEC’s Comment Not a Delay, But a Procedural Step Before Jan 10

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SEC’s Comment Not a Delay, But a Procedural Step Before Jan 10
  • The U.S. SEC issued additional comments on the amended S-1 forms submitted by prospective spot Bitcoin ETF issuers just a few hours later.
  • Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart points out the rapid response as unusual for the SEC.
  • Fox Business journalist reports that individuals who received comments express confidence that the SEC has not signaled any change of plans.

Just hours after would-be spot Bitcoin ETF issuers submitted documents detailing their proposed fees, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued additional comments on the S-1 forms. This quick response has raised eyebrows among insiders, who find it “borderline unheard of.”

On January 8, prospective issuers, including industry giants BlackRock, Bitwise, and Fidelity, disclosed their proposed fees for spot Bitcoin ETFs in their amended S-1 filings (S-3 in Grayscale’s case). Subsequently, on the same day, SEC officials provided feedback that primarily addressed minor details in the amended S-1 forms rather than significant changes, indicating that the comments are unlikely to impact the overall approval timeline.

Perianne Boring, the founder and CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, interprets the SEC’s actions as a potential indicator of delay. However, Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart holds a contrary view, emphasizing the rapid response time of the SEC as an indication that this might not necessarily be a deliberate delay tactic. Seyffart highlighted:

Borderline unheard of to send over a document to the SEC in the morning and get comments back the same day (I think). If they wanted to delay — the issuers wouldn’t have gotten comments back tonight.

Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett spoke with individuals who received additional comments and noted their confidence that the SEC hasn’t signaled a change of plans. According to Terrett, they see this as a part of the process “to get everything in before January 10.”
With a looming deadline of January 10 for the Ark 21Shares spot Bitcoin ETF filing, the SEC faces pressure to finalize its decision. One X user said the SEC can’t delay it anymore, anticipating the application by Ark 21Shares to be outright denied.

The SEC’s national securities exchange page listed nine amendments to 19b-4s filings from major exchanges, including Nasdaq, NYSE Arca, and Cboe BZX. It’s worth noting that both 19b-4 and S-1 filings require approval from the SEC before a Bitcoin ETF can start trading.

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