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    SEC pushes Hashdex, ARK 21Shares Ether ETFs as approval hope dwindles

    2024.03.20 | exchangesranking | 65onlookers
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    The United States Securities and Exchange Commission postponed its decision on Hashdex and ARK 21Shares proposed spot Ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

    The SEC’s Tuesday, March 19, decision to delay came a few days before the agency’s “third deadline” — both Ether ETF applications will face a final decision in late May.

    May 24 is the SEC’s final decision for ARK 21Shares, while Hashdex’s application will face the regulator’s ultimatum on or before May 30.

    Analysts have recently turned sour on the chances of approval for the eight currently proposed Ether ETFs from BlackRock, Grayscale, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, VanEck, Hashdex and Franklin Templeton.

    Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart said in a March 19 X post that he’s grown increasingly concerned due to a lack of engagement between the SEC and the issuers.

    “My cautiously optimistic attitude for ETH ETFs has changed from recent months,” Seyffart wrote.

    “We now believe these will ultimately be denied May 23rd for this round.”
    Source: James Seyffart on X

    Last week, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas lowered the Ether ETF approval odds from 50% to 35%. 

    Balchunas told Cointelegraph the ETF process for Ether feels like the “reverse” of what he’d experienced during the spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETF race, citing the SEC’s radio silence.

    Public sentiment appears to have also fallen, with Polymarket odds for Ether ETFs being approved by the end of May dwindling to 32%, down from January’s 77% odds.

    Polymarket odds for the approval of Ethereum ETFs by the end of May. Source: Polymarket

    Polymarket is a decentralized betting platform, around $2.2 million has been bet on the outcome of the Ether ETFs. 

    Grayscale tries for ETH staking too

    Meanwhile, asset manager Grayscale has become the latest issuer to consider adding staking to its spot Ether ETF application.

    In a “consent solicitation statement” sent to investors of its Grayscale Ethereum Trust, the firm outlined four proposals, including the ability to stake Ether held by the trust.

    Related: Fidelity amends spot Ethereum ETF proposal to include staking

    “This proposal will allow the Sponsor to cause the Trust [...] to use, or permit to be used, any Ethereum held by the Trust in a proof-of-stake validation protocol in exchange for consideration of any kind for the ultimate benefit of ETHE shareholders,” it wrote.

    Screenshot from Grayscale’s “Consent Solicitation Statement” to shareholders. Source: SEC

    Grayscale said the ability to stake Ethereum held by the trust would allow it to “mitigate inflationary pressures resulting from Ethereum’s proof-of-stake protocol” and maintain parity with any similar investment products that provide staking.

    The proposals are subject to a vote and require the consent of over 50% of shares.

    If approved, Grayscale could join the likes of ARK 21Shares, Franklin Templeton and Fidelity, who have recently added Ether staking to their spot ETF applications.

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