Spot Ether ETFs approved, but Gary Gensler didn’t vote for them — Here’s why

    25 May 2024

    The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on May 23, but the approval process differed slightly from the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in January.

    Unlike the spot Bitcoin ETFs approved via voting by a five-member committee including SEC chief Gary Gensler, spot Ether ETFs were approved by the Trading and Markets Division of the SEC.

    The SEC approved the 19b-4 filings from BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, Bitwise, VanEck, Ark, Invesco Galaxy and Franklin Templeton but declined to comment beyond the official decision. The official filing read:

    “For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.”

    While many in the crypto community were curious about the difference in the approval process for the two crypto ETFs, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart said it was normal.

    He said things are typically done in the same way for many approvals, and if the SEC required “an official vote for every decision or every document — it’d be insane. It would have been nice to see where the political lines were drawn.”

    However, not everyone seems to be convinced by Seyffart’s analysis. One user on X highlighted that a commissioner could challenge the decision within the next 10 days, and the main reason for the delegated authority was to hide the votes, as they might be seen as political.

    Another X user attributed the SEC’s decision to several factors, including political pressure, the upcoming elections and the implementation of environmental, social and governance rules.

    Another major difference between the approval processes of the two crypto ETFs is that all 11 BTC ETFs started trading the day after their approval, as they also got S-1 form clearance.

    Spot Ether ETFs might be weeks or months away from debuting on exchanges, as the ETF filers have yet to receive the S-1 SEC registration.


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