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SEC approves Nasdaq, NYSE, and CBOE to launch Ethereum ETFs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday approved applications from Nasdaq, CBOE and the New York Stock Exchange to list spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tied to the price of Ethereum (ETH).

The decision, which could allow these products to begin trading later this year, marks a major victory for the cryptocurrency industry.

Nine issuers, including VanEck, ARK Investments/21Shares and BlackRock, are looking to launch Ethereum ETFs following the SEC’s approval of a bitcoin ETF in January. Andrew Jacobson, vice president and head of legal at 21Shares, described it as an “exciting moment” and an “important step” toward getting the product traded.

The SEC’s decision came as a surprise to some, as many market participants still expected the applications to be rejected. However, SEC officials on Monday asked the exchanges to quickly fine-tune the documents, resulting in the exchanges completing weeks of work in just a few days.

Some analysts expected the request to be approved, and the stock price subsequently rose sharply. Earlier this week, VanEck’s ETF was also listed on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation platform.

Ethereum ETF Acceptance

While the reasons for the SEC’s apparent change of heart are unclear, Rob Marrocco, global head of ETP listings at Cboe Global Markets, said a spot Ethereum ETF would increase safety for U.S. investors. He said:

The launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs has brought significant benefits to the digital asset and ETF fields. We believe that spot Bitcoin ETFs will [Ethereum] ETFs will also provide protection for US investors

Although the exchange application has been approved, the issuer still needs the SEC to approve the ETF registration statement detailing investor disclosures before trading can begin. The timeline for this process is uncertain, and the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance may request changes and updates in the coming days and weeks.

Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks, an index provider for multiple Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, noted that ETH is more complex than BTC, which could lead to a longer review process. However, he also mentioned that the established template for Bitcoin ETFs could limit the SEC’s ability to “slow down” the review process.

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