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VanEck CEO Anticipates Rejection for Spot Ethereum ETF, Despite Its Early Filing


The fate of spot Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) hangs in the balance as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) inches closer to its decision deadline in May. Leading voices in the industry anticipate rejection of these investment products.

Jan van Eck, CEO of the asset management firm VanEck, recently voiced his skepticism regarding the SEC’s likelihood of approving spot Ethereum ETFs.

VanEck Expects Rejection Despite Being the Early Applicant

During an interview with CNBC at the Paris Blockchain Week in France, Jan van Eck revealed that they were the first to file for Ethereum in the US, along with Cathy Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest. He also mentioned that both of them will probably be rejected in May.

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

VanEck isn’t alone in its pessimism. Industry analysts like James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas of Bloomberg Intelligence echo the sentiment. Balchunas himself slashed his approval odds from 70% to just 35%.

JPMorgan, however, offers a glimmer of hope. Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, JPMorgan’s Managing Director, suggested a delay beyond May could usher the SEC into a legal skirmish. This would be reminiscent of past confrontations with Grayscale. Panigirtzoglou posits that the SEC might not emerge victorious if litigation ensues.

Amidst these divergent views, Matt Hougan, Bitwise’s Chief Investment Officer, observes that the SEC appears to be dragging its feet on approving spot Ethereum ETFs. This delay tactic was evident when, in January 2024, the SEC postponed its decision on BlackRock’s iShares Ethereum Trust, followed by similar postponements for Hashdex and ARK 21Shares in March.

The SEC consistently cites the need for “sufficient time” to review these proposals in its postponement notices. Hence, this repetitive pattern suggests a reluctance to approve them.

Despite the uncertainty, asset managers remain determined. Industry heavyweights like BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, ARK 21Shares, Hashdex, Grayscale, and Franklin Templeton continue to pursue spot Ethereum ETFs.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the fate of spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US remains uncertain as the decision deadline in May approaches. Industry experts like Jan van Eck and analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence anticipate rejection of these investment products by the SEC. However, there is a glimmer of hope suggested by JPMorgan’s Managing Director, Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, who speculates that a delay and potential legal skirmish could work in favor of Ethereum ETF approval. Despite the pessimism from some quarters, asset managers like BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, and others continue to push for the approval of spot Ethereum ETFs, highlighting the persistence and determination within the industry to see these products come to fruition.

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