SEC Sets Deadline for Spot Bitcoin ETF Updates on Dec. 29

SEC Sets Deadline for Spot Bitcoin ETF Updates on Dec. 29 – Those applying for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) must swiftly complete their filings to adhere to the looming deadline set by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Issuers failing to meet the December 29 deadline will not be included in the initial batch of potential spot Bitcoin ETF approvals expected in early January.

According to Reuters, public memos and sources familiar with the discussions reveal that the SEC has established a deadline of December 29 for spot Bitcoin ETF applicants to submit their final S-1 amendments. As per the report, on December 21, SEC officials held discussions with representatives from at least seven companies aiming to introduce spot Bitcoin ETFs in early 2024. 

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Among the participants in these meetings were representatives from BlackRock, Grayscale Investments, ARK Investments, and 21 Shares. The reported meetings also included representatives from exchanges considering listing the new products, such as Nasdaq and Chicago Board Options Exchange, along with legal professionals and issuers.

Attendees of the meetings were allegedly informed by regulators that issuers failing to meet the December 29 deadline will not be included in the initial round of potential spot Bitcoin ETF approvals in early January. The deadline details were initially reported by Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett, who later verified the date for final amendments to all S-1s by December 29.

“The SEC told issuers that applications that are fully finished and filed by Friday will be considered in the first wave,” the journalist wrote on X (formerly Twitter). She also stressed that the filings that mention in-kind creation will be rejected. As noted earlier, several spot Bitcoin ETF applicants have been hurrying to modify their S-1 filings by incorporating the cash redemption model.

Replacing in-kind redemptions, which involve non-monetary payments like Bitcoin. In addition to the exclusive cash requirement, it is reported that the SEC is requesting Bitcoin ETF applicants to identify the authorized participants (AP) in their filings. According to ETF analyst Eric Balchunas from Bloomberg, the AP agreement is anticipated to be the final obstacle in the path to spot Bitcoin ETFs.

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“This is no easy last step, and may keep some from starting gate. AP agreement + cash creates = approval,” Balchunas wrote on X. As of Dec. 22, none of the spot Bitcoin ETF filers have had the AP agreement in place, while seven firms switched the redemption model strictly to cash, according to Balchunas. Despite various companies making last-minute updates to their spot Bitcoin ETF filings, Bloomberg analysts remain optimistic that the SEC will grant approval for the first spot Bitcoin ETFs by January 10.

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