Bitwise Updates Ethereum ETF Filing as US Listings Near

Asset manager Bitwise submitted an updated registration statement for its proposed spot Ethereum ETF with regulators on Wednesday, disclosing its plans to waive fees. While largely procedural, this latest revision is seen by market observers as a sign that the launch of Ethereum ETFs is imminent.

“Expect more from other issuers throughout the rest of the week,” Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart wrote on Twitter (aka X). “We’re thinking these things could potentially [be listed] later next week, or the week of the 15th at this point.”

After shares in the Bitwise Ethereum ETF are listed on an exchange, Bitwise will waive a yet-to-be-defined management fee on the first $500 million its fund garners during that period, the amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated. 

Bitwise’s move follows similar ones from Franklin Templeton and VanEck. Both ETF hopefuls have included fee waivers in filings for the first $10 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.

Anticipation of the trading of spot Ethereum ETFs has grown steadily since the regulator’s last-minute approval in May. While the SEC approved several so-called form 19b-4s, it has yet to green light individual S-1 filings from asset managers, which are needed for trading to begin.

Bitwise submitted its amended S-1 days before it was actually due, according to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. On Twitter, he floated the idea that Bitwise “wanted to get it off their plate,” and that the SEC’s latest round of comments appeared to be minimal.

“From what I hear the last round of comments were ‘literally nothing’—took zero time to update,” he said.

Balchunas concurred that the class of products seems on track to begin trading this month. At the same time, he wondered why the regulator appears to be dragging its feet, considering the SEC seems mostly satisfied with the filings that firms have put forward so far.

“Given how light comments were, these could have easily been trading by now,” he wrote. “Could be one ‘problem’ issuer slowing down [the] process or just summertime.”

Not long after spot Ethereum ETFs were approved on May 23, the cryptocurrency rallied to around $4,000. Yet as the approval process has played out, Ethereum’s price has shed most of those gains, drifting down $3,270, as of this writing.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler said last month that the process for launching spot Ethereum ETFs is “going smoothly.” Speaking at the Bloomberg Invest Summit, he added that progress is dependent on asset managers providing full disclosures.

Though Bitwise’s amended filing has few changes, it does include new disclosure language. For example, a clause was inserted stating the “chair of the SEC has stated that the SEC has authority under existing laws to regulate the digital asset sector” within a section on oversight.

Bitwise also added a few sentences disclosing that certain digital asset trading platforms, to the extent that they are regulated, may not be in compliance with applicable rules. 

Finally, a section also outlines the “Initial Creation of Ether.” Looking at Ethereum’s initial supply of 72 million, it shows how most was sold to the public through a crowd sale in 2014, alongside distributions to the Ethereum Foundation and the network’s developers.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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