The market has already observed a rise in ETH price following the SEC’s green light for a spot Bitcoin ETF, leading analysts to predict a similar approval for an Ethereum ETF. Nonetheless, the SEC’s perspective of Bitcoin as a ‘non-security commodity’ was a key factor in approving Bitcoin ETFs, a situation that might differ for Ethereum. However, with the backing of BlackRock’s CEO for an Ethereum ETF, there’s a possibility that the SEC’s view on Ethereum as either a security or a commodity could change, following market sentiment.
Support From Larry Fink Boosts ETH Price
Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock (BLK), backed the notion of an ether (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF) a day after the much-anticipated bitcoin (BTC) ETF went live. “I see value in having an Ethereum ETF,” Fink said in an interview with CNBC on Friday. “These are just stepping stones towards tokenization and I really do believe this is where we’re going to be going.”
Tokenization refers to the process of representing assets, whether they are physical or digital, as tokens on a blockchain. Fink is of the opinion that tokenization has the potential to address issues associated with money laundering and various forms of corruption.
The $9 trillion asset management firm appears to be considering the listing of a similar product for Ethereum’s native token, aligning with its progressive move towards tokenization. Additionally, Fink mentioned that he views cryptocurrency not as a currency, but rather as an asset class. He specifically highlighted bitcoin, describing it as “an asset class that protects you” in the face of geopolitical risks.
He said, “It’s no different than what gold represented over thousands of years. Unlike gold, we’re almost at the ceiling of the amount of bitcoin that can be created.”
Following support from BlackRock, the ETHBTC ratio skyrocketed toward its October high, currently trading at 0.06039.
SEC’s Potential View On Ethereum ETF
The SEC has postponed its decision on an Ethereum ETF, requiring over 45 days to review a rule change proposal that would enable Grayscale to transform its Ethereum trust into a spot Ethereum ETF. The extended deadline is now set for January 25, 2024. Additionally, the SEC has delayed its decision on the Ethereum ETF proposed by crypto asset management firm Hashdex, as revealed in a separate document.
Yet, there’s an ongoing debate over whether Ethereum should be classified as a security or a commodity for ETF approval purposes. The SEC’s previous approval of Ethereum futures ETFs in October signaled an implicit recognition of ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, as a commodity, as per a Bloomberg analyst.
The October 2023 approval of ether futures ETFs and recent spot Bitcoin ETF launch suggests that we can expect further applications for spot Ethereum ETFs, potentially as early as later this year. However, if the SEC were to classify ether as a security, it is quite likely that legal challenges would arise concerning this designation.