SEC kicks off comment period for planned Franklin Templeton bitcoin ETF

Agency’s decision to start comment window earlier than expected could be bullish for spot bitcoin ETF approval in January, industry watchers say


Artwork by Crystal Le


The US Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated the comment period for Franklin Templeton’s spot bitcoin ETF proposal.

This move was initiated earlier than some expected, with the SEC now actively seeking public feedback.

New SEC filings could signal its willingness to close out the comment period on such funds ahead of a potential January ruling on bitcoin ETFs, some segment observers said.  

A Tuesday disclosure indicates the regulator has chosen to “institute proceedings” to determine whether to approve or deny the Franklin Bitcoin ETF.

“The commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change,” the filing states.

Read more: Bitcoin ETF saga reaches ‘pattern break’ as amendments pile up

The SEC has a 240-day window to consider each of the spot bitcoin ETF proposals from the day it is published in the federal register. During this timeframe, specific deadlines occur at intervals of 45 days, 45 days, 90 days, and 60 days. At each of these milestones, the SEC must file a response either approving, denying, or postponing a decision on the proposal.

Franklin Templeton, a traditional finance giant with roughly $1.5 trillion assets under management, jumped into the bitcoin ETF race in September

The Franklin Bitcoin ETF proposal was published in the federal register on Oct. 3, and the SEC delayed its decision on the product in a Nov. 15 order

While another filing related to this proposal wasn’t due until Jan. 1, the Tuesday order signals the SEC might be looking to fast-track the process in preparation for a potential mass ruling on spot bitcoin ETFs. 

“They might have chosen to do this early so they could have the comment period end before Jan 10, in order to approve everyone at the same time,” Van Buren Capital general partner Scott Johnsson said in an X post.  

Loading Tweet..

Jan. 10 is the date by which the SEC is set to rule on a spot bitcoin ETF proposed by Ark Invest and 21Shares. Industry watchers have pointed to this date, noting the securities regulator could approve all spot bitcoin ETFs at this time to avoid giving any one product a first-mover advantage. 

The SEC could also choose to deny such proposals — a move that would be consistent with previous rulings over the last decade. 

Along with the order related to Franklin Templeton’s proposal, the SEC filed a separate order seeking comments on the proposed bitcoin ETF from Brazil-based asset manager Hashdex.  

“This delay on [Hashdex] all but confirms for me that this was likely a move to line every applicant up for potential approval by the Jan 10, 2024 deadline,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart said in a Tuesday X post.

A spokesperson for the SEC did not immediately return a request for comment.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Unlocked by Template.png


With the spot ETH ETF approval, the institutions are coming. stETH - given its dominance in marketshare, existing liquid market structures, and highly desirable properties - is poised for institutions.


Launching cryptocurrencies the old fashioned way may soon make a return


Kraken and CertiK brought their beef to social media after Kraken said researchers exploited $3 million through a bug


NVIDIA’s historic run is only deepening the divide between mega-cap tech stocks and the rest of the market.


EIP-7702 was quickly adopted for the next Ethereum upgrade, but developers haven’t quite locked it down