The SEC is inviting public feedback on the proposed spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from asset manager Franklin Templeton and Hashdex. The SEC had recently delayed the decision on Franklin Templeton’s proposed fund and is now “instituting proceedings” to gather additional analysis. Commenters are asked to address concerns related to manipulation, fraud, and the ETF’s association with Coinbase, which would serve as the custodian if approved.
This swift move by the SEC has surprised some analysts, with suggestions that it may be an effort to align all spot bitcoin ETFs on the same timeline. James Seyffart, an ETF Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, noted the early action, speculating it could set the stage for a wave of approvals in early January. Scott Johnsson from Van Buren Capital also suggested that consolidating the comment period might lead to simultaneous approvals.
Franklin Templeton filed for its Bitcoin ETF in September, aiming to list and trade shares on the Cboe BZX Exchange. The SEC’s decision on the Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF application, proposing a conversion to a partial spot product, will also undergo public scrutiny. As the SEC continues to evaluate these applications, the cryptocurrency industry awaits the approval of the first spot bitcoin ETF in the U.S., a development that has been consistently delayed thus far.