The chief executive officer of investment firm VanEck says it’s unlikely the United States Securities and Exchange Commission will approve a spot Ether (ETH) exchange-traded funds in May. 

In an April 9 interview with CNBC, Jan van Eck said his firm’s spot Ethereum ETF application will “probably be rejected.”

He noted that his firm was the first to file for a spot Ether ETF in the United States alongside Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest, both of which are awaiting a final decision on May 23 and May 24 respectively.

“The way the legal process goes is that regulators will give you comments on your application and that happened for weeks and weeks before the Bitcoin ETFs, but now pins are dropping as far as Ethereum is concerned.”

CoinShares CEO Jean-Marie Mognetti was equally pessimistic, telling CNBC, “I don’t see anything being approved this side of the year.”

Van Eck’s comments come following a prolonged period of inaction from the SEC regarding a roster of seven pending applications for spot Ether ETFs.

Jan van Eck on ETH ETFs. Source: CNBC

Several commentators — including Senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas — have also looked to the ongoing “radio silence” between the regulator and prospective fund issuers as a key reason why a May ETF approval seems increasingly unlikely.

Van Eck’s Ether ETF application is due for a final decision on May 23, the first of seven fund issuers including Grayscale, BlackRock, and Fidelity awaiting approval.

ETH ETF applications. Source: Bloomberg

Balchunas lowered his formal odds for an Ether ETF approval by May from 70% to 35%. The analyst reiterated his stance on the pending approvals and echoed van Eck’s sentiments in a post on X on April 9. The analyst reduced his approval odds to 35% in March. 

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“As we’ve said, need SEC to give comments on the filing documents (the “critical feedback” he mentions) and that still ain’t happening, even in person they offering nothing. Silence is violence.”

Fellow ETF analyst James Seyffart offered a similar take, saying that “zero comments/interactions is a bad sign.”

“There’s no reason for the SEC to have done absolutely nothing for months when we knew this was coming,” he added. 

VanEck’s spot Bitcoin ETF — which trades under the ticker HODL — is the fifth largest of the newly launched ten funds (excluding Grayscale.) It witnessed an inflow of $461.7 million since it launched in mid-January, per Farside Investors data.

Commenting on the success of Bitcoin ETFs, Jan van Eck described Bitcoin as a “maturing asset,” adding there are still many investors yet to gain exposure to the asset.

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