Coinbase met with SEC over spot Ethereum ETFs

According to documents about the meeting, Coinbase said that the ether ETFs would also be counted as commodity-based shares

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Artwork by Crystal Le

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Coinbase met with officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission to discuss Grayscale’s proposed ether ETF. 

Attorneys from Davis Polk, who represent Grayscale, were also present according to documents from the SEC. Various members of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets were present.

A presentation from Coinbase was given at the meeting, though it’s not clear what else was discussed. In the SEC’s meeting disclosure, the agency included the Coinbase presentation in its filing.

Per Coinbase’s presentation, shares of a potential ether ETF would be categorized as commodity-based shares, the same as the bitcoin ETFs. 

Read more: Ether is the Schrödinger’s cat of crypto

Coinbase also said, “spot markets for ETH are highly indicative of a market resilient to fraud and manipulation.” Coinbase also said that it’ll have a surveillance-sharing agreement in place with the CME to “assist in surveilling for fraud and manipulation.”

However, the meeting may not be a “good sign,” according to Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. 

Read more: Ethereum spot ETFs are next

“Normally I’d say this was [a] good sign but as far as I know the Staff has not given any comments yet to the issuers, which is not a good sign as we [passed] when they gave comments on btc ETFs. Further, there’s no court loss hovering over,” he wrote in a post on X.

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Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart said, “no comments so far isn’t a great look.” Earlier this year, Seyffart told Blockworks that he believed there was a 60% chance that the SEC would greenlight the ETH ETFs in May.

The Coinbase presentation also included data to show that the ether futures markets and the spot markets are as strong as bitcoin markets, a fact that ETF Store president Nate Geraci pointed out on X.

“I’m not sure what grounds for disapproval of spot ether ETFs would be,” Geraci added.

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Earlier this week, the SEC delayed decisions on BlackRock and Fidelity’s spot ETH ETF applications. The delays were expected, however, with experts saying that the SEC will decide on the ether ETFs in May.


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