The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed its decision on several proposals for spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including BlackRock, ahead of an anticipated government shutdown.
The spot Bitcoin ETF applications of Invesco, Bitwise and Valkyrie were also delayed by the SEC, according to separate Sept. 28 filings, while Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart is expecting the applications from Fidelity, VanEck and WidsomTree to also be pushed back by the securities regulator.
— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) September 28, 2023
The latest delays came two weeks earlier than the scheduled second deadline date for many applicants, who had been expecting to hear from the securities regulator by Oct. 16–19.
Seyffart said the timing of the delays is related to the expected U.S. government “shutdown” potentially taking place on Oct. 1, which will disrupt the country’s financial regulators and other federal agencies.
Both chambers of Congress — the House and Senate — haven’t agreed on various funding bills to finance government operations and Congress needs to pass 12 separate full-year funding bills by Oct. 1 to avoid a shutdown.
The SEC delayed a bundle of spot Bitcoin ETF applicants in late August when the first deadline was approaching.
Meanwhile, the third set of deadlines for the seven firms is around mid-January, and they could also be delayed. The SEC will have to make a final decision by mid-March at the very latest.
In late August, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas estimated that the probability of a spot Bitcoin ETF being approved by the end of 2023 had increased to 75% (from an earlier 65%).
He cited the unanimity and decisiveness at which the U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit reached its decision in Grayscale’s court win over the SEC as the main reason behind the odds increasing.
Balchunas further raised those odds to 95% by the end of 2024.