Applicants for a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) have only a few days to finalize their filings to meet a looming deadline set by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC has set a deadline for spot Bitcoin ETF applicants to file final S-1 amendments by Dec. 29, Reuters reported, citing public memos and two people familiar with the discussions.
According to the report, the SEC officials on Dec. 21 met with representatives of at least seven firms hoping to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs in early 2024. Some of the attendees at those meetings included representatives from BlackRock, Grayscale Investments, ARK Investments, and 21 Shares.
The meetings also reportedly featured representatives of the exchanges that would potentially list the new products, including Nasdaq and Chicago Board Options Exchange, as well as lawyers and issuers.
Regulators reportedly told attendees at the meetings that any issuer that doesn’t meet the Dec. 29 deadline will not be part of a first wave of potential spot Bitcoin ETF approvals in early January.
Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett was among the first to report on the deadline. Terrett subsequently confirmed the date for final amendments to all S-1s by Dec. 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.
Confirming the date for final amendments to all S-1s by Friday the 29th. The @SECGov has told issuers that applications that are fully finished and filed by Friday will be considered in the first wave. Anyone who is not will not be considered. In addition, the filings cannot… https://t.co/syyINu1BEI— Eleanor Terrett (@EleanorTerrett) December 24, 2023
As previously reported, multiple spot Bitcoin ETF filers have been rushing to update their S-1 filings with the cash redemption model, replacing in-kind redemptions, which imply non-monetary payments like Bitcoin.
Related: Spot Bitcoin ETF will be ‘bloodbath’ for crypto exchanges, analyst says
Apart from the cash-only requirement, the SEC also reportedly wants Bitcoin ETF filers to name the authorized participants (AP) in their filings. According to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, the AP agreement will be the last hurdle on the way to spot Bitcoin ETFs.
“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 multiple firms moving forward with last-minute updates for their spot Bitcoin ETF filers, Bloomberg analysts are still confident that the SEC would approve the first spot Bitcoin ETFs by Jan. 10.
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