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SEC Seeks Comments for BlackRock Spot Ethereum ETF

2 mins
Updated by Bary Rahma
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In Brief

  • The SEC is seeking public comments on BlackRock's spot Ethereum ETF.
  • The new proposal shifts from an ether-based to a cash redemption model.
  • Skepticism persists about the approval chances for cryptocurrency ETFs.
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened the floor for public commentary on the recent amendments to BlackRock’s proposed spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF).

This request comes after Nasdaq submitted an updated proposal on April 19, refining earlier submissions to better align with regulatory expectations.

BlackRock’s Spot Ethereum ETF Under Review

Named the iShares Ethereum Trust, BlackRock’s ETF aims to accurately mirror the price of Ethereum. Initially filed in November 2023, the ETF proposal has seen modifications in its structure, particularly regarding its creation and redemption processes.

Unlike its original version, which involved direct exchanges with Ethereum, the revised proposal suggests a cash-based transaction model.

This shift to a cash redemption strategy reflects a cautious regulatory approach, reminiscent of discussions surrounding spot Bitcoin ETFs last year. Those models, which later received approval in January, similarly favored cash transactions over in-kind exchanges, possibly setting a precedent for Ethereum ETFs.

Read more: Ethereum ETF Explained: What It Is and How It Works

The SEC’s call for input signals a critical review phase, allowing stakeholders and the public to influence the final decision. Responses to the proposal are due within 21 days from the announcement, as noted on the SEC’s official website.

The broader landscape for cryptocurrency ETFs remains uncertain. Notable entities like Fidelity and Grayscale have also revised their Ethereum ETF applications, integrating staking provisions and cash-based models. Despite these efforts, market analysts remain skeptical.

Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas recently downgraded the probability of Ethereum ETFs gaining approval by May.

“We are holding the line at 25% odds, although, to be honest, it is a very pessimistic 25%. The lack of engagement seems to be purposeful vs procrastination. No positive signs or intel anywhere you look. I personally hope they do approve it, but it just ain’t looking good,” Balchunas said.

As the deadline approaches for other cryptocurrency-related decisions, including those involving proposals from Franklin Templeton and Grayscale, the SEC appears to be taking a methodical approach, emphasizing robust regulatory scrutiny and stakeholder engagement in its decision-making processes.

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Bary Rahma
Bary Rahma is a senior journalist at BeInCrypto, where she covers a broad spectrum of topics including crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs), artificial intelligence (AI), tokenization of real-world assets (RWA), and the altcoin market. Prior to this, she was a content writer for Binance, producing in-depth research reports on cryptocurrency trends, market analysis, decentralized finance (DeFi), digital asset regulations, blockchain, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and tokenomics. Bary also...
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