Ether Futures ETF Applications Spike: Unveiling the Surprising Reason
Though a wave of Bitcoin (BTC) spot ETF applications have stirred excitement in the crypto market over the past two months, a lesser-known bundle of Ether (ETH) ETF applications is following closely behind it.
As of August 10, there are 14 Ethereum futures ETF applications of some form sitting in the U.S. federal register, waiting for evaluation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That’s more than the number of Bitcoin spot ETF applications on standby, which tally 9 so far.
The influx of applications comes amid reports of the SEC’s supposed “readiness” to accept an Ether futures ETF. According to sources contacted by Fortune, some companies decided to refile after being called by SEC staff, who said they were ready to review their application.
General counsel for another project reportedly said SEC staff had informed them in May that Ether was still a bit too young to receive approval for a futures ETF. Yet the company decided to refile anyways after seeing other applicants do the same.
The firm then received a call from the SEC similar to the first source, saying it would review the application in “ordinary course” but would provide “no guarantee” of ETF approval. The general counsel said the SEC’s messaging seemed “schizophrenic.”
Why The SEC Is Changing Its Tune
The SEC’s confused messaging as of late may stem back to Volatility Shares – an ETF company that scored a surprising listing for a leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF in late June.
The crypto investment community widely criticized the move, believing it highlighted the SEC’s hypocrisy in denying seemingly less risky crypto spot ETF products.
The agency asked the company to withdraw its application at the time, said a person familiar with the matter. Volatility Shares declined, however, since its product already fit within an established framework – meaning it didn’t need the SEC’s explicit approval to get listed.
Volatility Shares then filed for an Ether futures ETF on July 28, again denying the SEC’s request to withdraw the application. The source said this moved the SEC to inform other applicants of its readiness to review their proposals.
Bloomberg ETF analysts James Seyffart and Eric Balcunas said last week that they assign a 75% likelihood of an Ether futures ETF being approved by year’s end – greater than their 65% likelihood assigned to a Bitcoin spot ETF.