Valkyrie CIO anticipates spot Bitcoin ETF approval as early as the end of November


Valkyrie Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Steven McClurg told ETF.com on Nov. 2 that regulators could approve a spot Bitcoin ETF by the end of the month.

McClurg said that he expects the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to send a second request for comments to various spot Bitcoin ETF applicants in the coming weeks. The SEC previously requested comments starting at the end of September. Valkyrie reportedly submitted an update to its own filing this week.

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The CIO said that after the SEC sends out those new requests, it could approve the necessary 19b-4 filings at the end of November. Those filings concern the proposed rule changes that would allow exchanges to list the spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs in question.

McClurg said that this approval timeline “likely means a February launch” in 2024, as the SEC could ask firms to add more details to other S-1 filings before any final launch.

Bitwise is “hopeful;” expects $50B over five years

ETF.com also obtained a statement from Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan, who said that he is “hopeful” about his company’s plans to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Hougan commented on certain issues, noting that “market manipulation is still a potential stumbling block” and noted that “custody isn’t [necessarily] a wrap.”

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Though other applicants have attempted to address issues around market manipulation by introducing surveillance-sharing agreements, specifically with Coinbase, Bitwise is less optimistic on the matter. Hougan made similar statements when Bitwise updated its filing in late September, suggesting that such agreements may not meet requirements.

Both executives also provided estimates regarding the amount of value that the pending funds could attract. McClurg projected $10 billion of demand for spot Bitcoin ETFs in the four to eight weeks after they launch. Meanwhile, Hougan projected more than $50 billion of inflows over five years, weighted toward the later years.

Other ETF applicants are also driving expectations

Valkyrie Investments and Bitwise are among approximately ten firms in the running to offer the first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the U.S.

The latest batch of proposals was largely prompted by the major asset manager BlackRock, which submitted its spot Bitcoin ETF application on June 15. Several other hopeful asset managers have patterned their own applications after BlackRock’s.

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Elsewhere, Grayscale has attracted optimism through a legal victory that will compel the SEC to review its ETF application. However, Grayscale’s plan involves converting its existing GBTC fund to an ETF and is quite different from most other pending applications.

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