SEC delays lower expectations of Ethereum ETF approval by May despite staking additions

The US SEC has delayed the approval process for several highly anticipated Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs), recent regulatory filings show.

The delays affect proposals from investment firms, including VanEck, Ark Invest, Hashdex, and Grayscale — which has added a staking component to its ETH ETF application along with Fidelity — sparking discussions about the future of crypto ETFs in the US.

Lower odds of approval

Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart, who has been closely monitoring the developments, expressed a shift from his previously cautiously optimistic outlook regarding the approval of Ethereum ETFs.

He noted that the SEC’s lack of engagement on Ethereum-specific issues contrasts sharply with their approach to Bitcoin ETFs in the previous fall, dampening hopes for a positive outcome by the crucial May 23 deadline.

Similarly, Eric Balchunas recently pointed out that the absence of bullish signs and sources that were present before the Bitcoin ETF approvals significantly reduces the chances of a favorable decision for Ethereum ETFs, estimating the odds at 35%.

The conversation extended beyond the ETF delays, touching upon the broader regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies. Some suggested the SEC might insist on a court order before approving Ethereum ETFs, citing potential differences between Ethereum and Bitcoin in terms of their designation.

However, Seyffart disagreed with the notion that Ethereum could be classified as a security, a designation that could fundamentally impact its regulatory treatment.

The discussion also ventured into the realm of potential outcomes and strategies. Seyffart speculated about the future of Grayscale’s Ethereum futures product and its implications for potential legal challenges against the SEC’s decisions.

Staking in ETFs

Meanwhile, both Fidelity and Grayscale have added amendments to their Ethereum ETF applications to include a staking component.

Staking, a fundamental aspect of Ethereum’s proof-of-stake (PoS) model, involves the locking up of digital assets to support the network’s security and functionality, offering participants rewards in the form of additional crypto.

Grayscale’s proposal, like Fidelity’s, allows the ETF to allocate part of its holdings to staking through selected providers, potentially including affiliates. The move is designed to explore the income generation possibilities within a regulated financial framework, with the ETF expected to receive ether tokens as network rewards, which could be considered income for the fund.

However, this addition arrives amid increased scrutiny from US lawmakers, who have recently urged the SEC to halt the approval of new crypto-related ETFs due to concerns over investor risks.

As the May 23 deadline approaches, the crypto community remains on edge, awaiting further developments.

The post SEC delays lower expectations of Ethereum ETF approval by May despite staking additions appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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