ETH ETF hopefuls ‘on the edge’ of their seats for SEC nod, source says

Fund issuers expect very few additional comments from the SEC on their ETH fund registration statements, if any at all


3DStockPhoto and Sazhnieva Oksana/Shutterstock and Adobe modified by Blockworks


While the exact launch timeline for US spot ether ETFs remains unclear, the process to approval — more than ever — appears to be in the homestretch.  

Issuers submitted ether ETF registration statement amendments last week in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s suggested adjustments.

Last month, the SEC formally approved 19b-4 proposals from the exchanges on which the ETH funds would list. The agency has been working with issuers on their registration statements (or S-1s) — a process that ends with the SEC allowing those to go effective.

Such a move remains the last hurdle before these ether ETFs — to be the first of their kind in the US — can start trading. 

Because the last round of S-1 revisions were so “light,” the SEC could contact issuers “at any point” with a date as to when the funds can launch, a source close to the filings told Blockworks Wednesday.

In other words, issuers expect very few additional comments from the SEC, if any at all. 

“The ball is in their court,” the person noted. 

“We really don’t have an expectation because it is completely up to them now, but we are on the edge of our seats waiting,” the source added. “They can move as quickly or as slowly as they like.”

A second source familiar with the ETH fund filings noted that while issuers had not yet received additional comments from the SEC after the latest S-1 adjustments, at least one more round could be coming. 

“The timeline to launch is not clear, but we reasonably expect it would be in the next [two] to [three] weeks,” that person added. 

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity given issuers’ ongoing discussions with the SEC.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler indicated earlier this month that the ether ETF approval process would wrap up “sometime over the course of the summer.” He told Bloomberg news yesterday that the process to get the disclosures within the S-1s finalized is done at the “staff level” via back and forths between the asset managers and the agency’s corporation finance unit. 

“These disclosures are…important to investors making investment decisions,” Gensler noted Tuesday. “I don’t know the timing, but it’s going smoothly.”

An SEC spokesperson pointed to these Gensler remarks, but declined to comment further.

VanEck CEO Jan van Eck posted a photo to X on Monday implying he was meeting with the SEC. The ETF issuer — with a proposed ETH fund on the doorstep — filed an 8-A form for its planned spot ether product on Tuesday. 

Read more: SEC should let VanEck launch its ether ETF first, firm exec says

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Eric Balchunas has laid out a scenario in which the regulator chooses to let the S-1s go effective before the July 4 holiday. He noted on X that VanEck’s 8-A for its spot bitcoin ETF in January came seven days before that fund launched — a sign his prediction could come true. 

But a third source familiar with the filings noted an approval before July 4 does not currently appear likely.

VanEck and Franklin Templeton are the only firms to have publicly revealed intended fees for their spot ether ETFs, at 0.20% and 0.19%, respectively. 

Fees for the other products — to be issued by BlackRock, Fidelity and others — are one of the remaining small items issuers would fill in on their registration statements before launch. 

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