Bitcoin ETF Deadline Approaches: SEC Struggles With Paperwork

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As the January 10 deadline for the approval of the much-anticipated spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) draws near, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly grappling with an overwhelming amount of paperwork. An approval by the end of today seems rather unlikely, although the latest surge in the Bitcoin price shows that market participants are of a different opinion.

Eleanor Terrett, a journalist for FOX Business, shared insights on the situation via X (formerly known as Twitter), noting the unpredictable nature of the SEC’s decision-making process. She remarked, “While the SEC is surely unpredictable, it would surprise me if approvals were to happen tomorrow.”

Bitcoin ETF Approval By The End Of The Week?

Terrett added, “From what I understand through conversations I’ve had with issuers, the SEC still has to review all the changes made to the S-1s filed on Thursday/Friday AND make comments on them.” Terrett’s tweet came in response to renowned crypto expert Scott Melker’s speculation about an imminent approval today.

Among others, Melker spread the rumor yesterday that the first Bitcoin ETF in the United States could be approved by the SEC as early as tomorrow (January 2). He posted on X, “ETF approval tomorrow? That’s the rumor…” In response to Melker’s speculation, Terrett drew parallels with the approval process for Ethereum futures in October last year and highlighted the tight timeline, considering the SEC staff’s recent time off.

“If the SEC follows a similar approval timeline to the ETH futures in October, the agency will, after this round of reviews, communicate to the issuers a date they want the final S-1s to be filed and make them effective in the subsequent 24-48 hours. SEC staff has been off since Friday so a Tuesday or even a Wednesday approval seems tight,” she concluded.

Adding to the discussion, FOX Business journalist Charles Gasparino reported via X, “Breaking re BTC ETF: People at BlackRock say it’s radio silence from SEC; Eleanor Terrett’s sources say the amount of paperwork the SEC still needs to go through make the announcement likely toward week’s end.” This statement underscores the volume of work the SEC is currently handling and hints at a potential delay in the announcement.

Or Not Until Early Next Week?

Should the SEC manage to approve the ETF proposals by firms like BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco, Bitwise, and VanEck by Friday, January 5, they would still be slightly ahead of their expected schedule. Bloomberg ETF analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart had earlier predicted that the SEC would likely approve a batch of spot Bitcoin ETFs closer to the end of the deadline.

Seyffart recently stated, “Def expecting it by Jan 10. Still thinking the official date is more likely January 8th – 10th though.” This comment was in reaction to a Reuters report, which suggested that the SEC might notify issuers as early as Tuesday or Wednesday of their clearance to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs the following week.

At press time, the BTC price was up 7%, trading at $45,380.

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BTC price, 1-day chart | Source: BTCUSD on

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