The US Securities and Exchange Commission said it had not yet granted approval of spot-bitcoin exchange traded funds, despite a post on X that appeared from the regulator’s official account.
The post, which included a fake comment purporting to be from SEC chair Gary Gensler, briefly fuelled a jump in the price of bitcoin. Traders have been speculating for weeks that the agency could approve several of the products as soon as Wednesday.
Gensler said from his X account that the post was a fake and that the agency hadn’t taken action.
About a dozen companies have applied to list ETFs backed by bitcoin in the US. The SEC has until 10 January to take action on at least one of those applications, and crypto insiders have speculated the regulator will use that date to announce a slew of decisions at once.
There are two technical requirements that must be fulfilled before a spot-backed bitcoin ETF can start trading. First, the SEC must sign off on so-called 19b-4 filings by the exchanges that would list the ETFs. Second, the regulator must approve the relevant S-1 forms, which are the registration applications from the would-be issuers — a list that includes BlackRock and Fidelity.
The SEC is planning to vote on the exchanges’ filings, the 19b-4s, this week. The regulator may or may not take action on the issuers’ applications, the S-1s, around the same time. If the SEC grants both sets of required approvals, the ETFs could start trading as soon as the next business day. — Allyson Versprille, (c) 2024 Bloomberg LP