The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly given approval for ether futures funds, indicating a more favorable stance towards such investment products compared to spot bitcoin ETFs. Crypto-focused investment firm Valkyrie successfully filed with the SEC to change its Bitcoin Strategy ETF to include investments in ether futures. The Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF has already started adding exposure to ether futures contracts and will officially change its name to the Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ether Strategy ETF on October 3. Other companies, including Volatility Shares, Grayscale Investments, Bitwise Asset Management, ProShares, VanEck, Direxion, and Roundhill Investments, have also filed proposals for ether futures ETFs.
Valkyrie’s approach of amending an existing fund’s investment strategy has placed it ahead of other proposed issuers in terms of the potential effective date. Industry experts anticipate the launch of other ether futures ETFs in the near future. Volatility Shares plans to launch its Ether Strategy ETF on October 12, while VanEck has teased the upcoming launch of the VanEck Ethereum Strategy ETF. The SEC’s potential fast-tracking of ether futures ETFs may be motivated by the threat of a government shutdown, which would leave the commission with limited staff. In contrast, the SEC has delayed making decisions on various ETF proposals, including a spot bitcoin ETF by Ark Invest and 21Shares.
Valkyrie’s success in modifying its existing fund to include ether futures contracts comes nearly two years after the introduction of the first bitcoin futures ETFs in the US market. ProShares, Valkyrie, and VanEck were the initial players, with ProShares gaining a first-mover advantage and quickly accumulating $1 billion in assets under management. While several issuers filed for ether futures ETFs earlier this year, plans were halted after the SEC indicated its reluctance to approve such products. Overall, the SEC’s approval of ether futures funds suggests a more favorable regulatory environment for cryptocurrency ETFs compared to spot bitcoin ETFs.