SEC Moves Closer to Approving Spot Ethereum ETFs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is advancing towards a decision on approving a spot Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF). In response to regulatory feedback, the exchange associated with five potential spot Ethereum ETF issuers, Cboe, has published updated ETF application (19b-4) files. These issuers include Fidelity, VanEck, Invesco/Galaxy, Ark/21Shares, and Franklin Templeton.

On May 21, exchanges supporting spot Ethereum ETF applicants submitted revised application forms to the SEC as per officials’ instructions. The SEC requested resubmission using universal comments, indicating a standard approach in their responses. Although SEC officials have not explicitly stated they will approve the applications, the request for revision is seen as a significant step forward. According to sources, final approval is not yet guaranteed, but the progress made suggests multiple spot ETFs could be approved this week.

The SEC will decide on VanEck and Cboe’s initial application on May 23, and the approval of the 19b-4 forms could happen soon. However, the launch of spot Ethereum ETFs also requires the SEC to approve the S-1 forms filed by the issuers. There is less activity with the S-1 forms compared to the 19b-4 applications, but some issuers have begun revising their S-1 documents as well.

Meanwhile, contrary to the hopes of several spot ETF applicants, including Grayscale and Fidelity, the U.S. regulator is firm on not allowing the staking of ETH held in the ETFs. Both asset managers amended their S-1 registration statements on May 21 to remove plans for staking ETH held in the funds.

ETH’s price responded positively to the growing optimism for spot ETF approval, trading around $3,790 at the time of writing, marking a 3.8% increase in the last 24 hours. Moreover, this price represents a significant jump of $600 from the price level on May 20, before the rise in spot ETF approval optimism.