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SEC Won’t Approve the Ethereum ETF in May, VanEck CEO Predicts

VanEck deems the Ethereum ETF approval unlikely, at least in the coming weeks 


The CEO of VanEck and other industry experts expressed doubts about the SEC's approval of spot Ether ETFs in May, citing a lack of communication from the regulator as a key concern.

Key takeaways:

  1. VanEck CEO Jan van Eck believes the firm's spot Ether ETF application will likely be rejected in May.
  2. Analysts point to the SEC's prolonged silence on pending Ether ETF applications as a sign of unlikely approval.

Jan van Eck, the chief executive of investment firm VanEck, has expressed skepticism about the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approving spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in May. In an April 9 interview with CNBC, van Eck stated that his firm's spot Ethereum ETF application would "probably be rejected."

VanEck and Cathie Wood's ARK Invest were among the first to file for spot Ether ETFs in the United States, with final decisions on their applications due on May 23 and May 24, respectively. Van Eck noted: 

"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 echoed van Eck's sentiments, telling CNBC: 

"I don't see anything being approved this side of the year." 

The comments from industry leaders come amidst prolonged inaction from the SEC regarding a roster of seven pending applications for spot Ether ETFs.

Analysts cite SEC's silence as a bad sign for ETF approval

Several commentators, including Senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, have pointed to the ongoing "radio silence" between the SEC and prospective fund issuers as a key reason why a May ETF approval seems increasingly unlikely. Balchunas lowered his formal odds for an Ether ETF approval by May from 70% to 35%, reiterating his stance in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on April 9.

Balchunas wrote:

"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," 

ETF analyst James Seyffart proposed a similar take, saying that: 

"zero comments/interactions is a bad sign." 

He added: 

"There's no reason for the SEC to have done absolutely nothing for months when we knew this was coming."

Despite the pessimism surrounding Ether ETFs, VanEck's spot Bitcoin ETF, which trades under the ticker HODL, has witnessed an inflow of $461.7 million since its launch in mid-January, making it the fifth-largest of the newly launched ten funds (excluding Grayscale). Jan van Eck described Bitcoin as a "maturing asset" and noted that there are still many investors yet to gain exposure to the asset.