SEC to approve spot ETH ETFs in May, predicts Standard Chartered

31 Jan 2024

Standard Chartered forecasts the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may approve a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) in May.

According to a note published on Tuesday, the bank’s head of crypto research and Western emerging markets FX, Geoff Kendrick forecasts the SEC’s approval of spot Ethereum ETFs will echo that of spot Bitcoin ETF approvals.

Kendrick added that 23 May is the deadline for the SEC to approve or reject spot Ethereum ETF applications from Vaneck and Ark 21shares. He forecasts the regulator will reach a decision on the final day, akin to the 10 January approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs, reports.

The Standard Chartered analyst is of the opinion that Ethereum’s legal and financial situation closely reflects that of Bitcoin, indicating a similar approval trend for spot Ethereum ETFs.

That said, the Chair of the SEC, Gary Gensler, remains vague as to whether ETH is a security, even though he stated that the majority of crypto tokens, other than Bitcoin, are securities.

Last week, the SEC postponed its decision on two spot Ethereum ETF applications from Blackrock and Grayscale Investments.

Furthermore, the bank’s head of crypto research forecasts the price of Ethereum could reach $4,000 by the 23 May approval date, as long as it follows a similar path to Bitcoin during the approval process.

Ether is trading at $2,338 at the time of writing.

Kendrick’s $4,000 ETH price forecast is reliant on a number of assumptions, such as overall market sentiment for approval staying low and the SEC giving the green light to several spot Ethereum ETF applications on the same day, as it did with those of Bitcoin.

Although the Bitcoin price experienced a selloff following the spot Bitcoin ETF approvals, as investors left the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), Ethereum may sidestep much of this, according to Standard Chartered. The bank’s analyst said Grayscale’s current Ethereum Trust holds a smaller amount of Ether’s total market cap compared with the amount of Bitcoin held in GBTC.

“These factors should make ETH less vulnerable than BTC to a post-approval selloff,” he commented.

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