Rumors that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to approve a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on January 5 reached a high on social media, fueled by cryptic tweets and claims.
A tweet from Grayscale’s chief legal officer, Craig Salm, stating that he was “just filling out some forms,” and a widely shared tweet from TechCrunch crypto reporter Jacquelyn Melinek citing sources “extremely close to the matter” that multiple ETFs approval would happen on Friday have added to the excitement.
The hashtag #ETFBitcoin and the term “Bitcoin ETFs” are currently trending on Twitter. However, Bitcoin (BTC) dropped sharply from $44,700 to $43,200 after its strong recovery from the flash crash on January 3.
Some analysts have cautioned against getting too excited, saying that approval is more likely to come next week. Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart described the speculation around a January 5 approval as “noise” and said he still expects approval to arrive between January 8 and January 10.
Senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas says the SEC is currently providing final comments and that issuers will soon file their final 19b-4 and S-1 forms soon afterward. Both forms need to be approved by the SEC before an ETF can start trading, though an approved 19b-4 form is required for the spot Bitcoin ETF to be effectively approved.
The spot Bitcoin ETF will be the first in the United States, making its potential approval highly anticipated by crypto market investors and traders. There are a total of 14 issuers applying for a spot Bitcoin ETF, including BlackRock, Valkyrie, ARK Invest & 21 Shares, Bitwise and Fidelity.
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