• The withdrawal requests suggest the SEC may have told the firms that these ETFs are unlikely to be approved anytime soon, industry watchers say
  • Issuers seeking to launch bitcoin futures ETFs have not requested withdrawals, signaling that regulators may be looking more favorably upon those products

Just two days after VanEck and ProShares each filed with the SEC to launch Ethereum ETFs, the firms have requested to withdraw their applications. 

Both planned offerings would have invested in Ether futures contracts, as well as pooled investment vehicles and exchange-traded products that provide exposure to ETH, according to SEC disclosures filed on Wednesday.

“No securities were sold in connection with the amendment and the trust has determined not to proceed with the offering of this series at this time,” a VanEck disclosure released Friday read.

A ProShares filing, sent to the SEC the same day, notes: “The trust is withdrawing the amendment because it has elected not to proceed with the registration process for the new series associated with the amendment.”

Spokespeople for ProShares and VanEck did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for comment.

“The assumption is that the firms have had conversations with the SEC and the regulator has told them that these ETFs are unlikely to be approved anytime soon,” Sumit Roy, crypto editor and analyst at ETF.com, told Blockworks. “Notably, this hasn’t impacted any of the bitcoin futures-based ETF filings, so there is still a chance that we get a bitcoin product approved in the near future.”

Invesco and Proshares were the first to file for bitcoin futures ETFs earlier this month following remarks by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler that the SEC might favor such products. Valkyrie, VanEck and Galaxy Digital all followed suit.

Most recently, Global X filed with the SEC on Thursday to bring to market a fund that would invest in bitcoin futures, as well as the stocks on blockchain and digital asset companies.

Matt Hougan, CIO of Bitwise Asset Management, agreed that the withdrawals suggest that the SEC does not think an Ethereum futures ETF is an interesting product to consider.

“I suspect we’ll see a bitcoin futures ETF at some point in the relatively near future,“ he told Blockworks. “…I don’t know why or how [the SEC] is drawing those lines between two regulated futures products.”

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  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro economics, financial services and digital asset management. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence, and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism.