Ether Rallies as Market Gets Optimistic About Ether ETF Approval

The price of ether (ETH), which is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, rallied as much as 20% early Tuesday before giving up some of the gains amid renewed hope for the approval of spot ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

What’s Behind This Renewed Optimism?

After the success of bitcoin (BTC) spot exchange-traded funds that began trading in January, cryptocurrency markets wished for a similar story for ether ETFs, only to get their hopes dashed when the U.S. regulator raised concerns about ether’s status as security and revisited its prior apprehensions about staking.

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But it now looks as if the SEC is moving the application process along.

The SEC recently requested that various exchanges update the 19b-4 filings related to the spot ether ETFs on an accelerated basis. CoinDesk reported.1 That step was undertaken during the Bitcoin ETF application approval process as well.

Another important development was Fidelity amending its ether ETF application to remove staking rewards.2

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “FIDELITY(r) ETHEREUM FUND.”

Ether holders can stake or lock their tokens to participate in the validation process of Ethereum network transactions and can earn rewards for doing so.

The SEC has a problem with staking as it considers it a securities offering and has sued crypto exchanges, such as BinanceCoinbase, and Kraken, in the past for offering it as a service. Fidelity’s removing staking from its application is viewed as a move to put the regulator at ease with the ether ETF product.

And that has fueled optimism among investors and analysts.

On Monday, Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas announced an increase in his firm’s odds of the 19b-4 filings approval to 75%, which was previously set at 25%.3 On the prediction market Polymarket, the odds of a spot ether ETF approval rose to about 60% on Tuesday from 10% just a day prior.4

When Will There Be a Final Decision on Ether ETFs?

Short answer: perhaps not anytime soon.

According to Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, the SEC has a Thursday deadline to decide on VanEck’s 19b-4 filing.5 After that, it still would take weeks or months for S-1 initial registration filings to be approved and the first spot ether ETF to hit the market.

But some progress is better than none for those awaiting the first spot ether ETF. And for some, the fine print is key.

Removal of staking from the application was expected, according to Van Buren Capital General Partner Scott Johnsson, but the “bigger signal is that there’s no changes to the commodity grantor trust structure and disclosures. All signs point to SEC laying down its arguments to ETH as security,” he posted on X early Tuesday.


Adsrocks’s requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.

  1. CoinDesk. “Ether ETFs Filing Process Sees Abrupt Progress, Though Approval Not Guaranteed: Sources.”
  2. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “FIDELITY(r) ETHEREUM FUND.”
  3. X Platform. “@EricBalchunas, 3:20 PM, May 20, 2024.”
  4. Polymarket. “Ethereum ETF Approved by May 31?.”
  5. X Platform. “@JSeyff, 4:16 PM, May 20, 2024.”
  6. X Platform. “@SGJohnsson, 8:47 AM, May 21, 2024

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