Ethereum futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs) could begin trading for the first time in the United States as soon as next week, according to Bloomberg analysts.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly accelerating the launch of Ethereum futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with a possible trading debut as soon as next week. This comes amid growing anticipation of a possible US government shutdown.

First Ethereum Futures ETF Could Launch on Monday

Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas provided important information on this development in a post on X:

“UPDATE: Hearing the SEC wants to accelerate the launch of Ether futures ETFs (bc they want it off their plate bf shutdown) so they’ve asked the filers to update their docs by Fri pm (no small task to jam into 48hrs, esp for indie issuers), so they can go eff Mon and trade Tue.”

His colleague, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart, confirmed the sentiment, noting that “it looks like the SEC is going to potentially let go of a bunch of Ethereum futures ETFs next week.” Although a recent Bloomberg report had posited that Ethereum futures ETFs had a 90% chance of launching in October, these latest updates appear to reinforce the immediate timeline.

According to the previous forecast, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Futures ETF (BTF) was going to be the first to add Ethereum exposure on October 3, with a strategy change that will see the inclusion starting October 4.

Volatility Shares, another issuer, was anticipated to be the first to exclusively offer exposure to Ethereum futures, which is expected to go into effect on October 11, facilitating an October 12 launch. Due to the impending US government shutdown, launch approvals from the SEC could already be moved up to next week.

However, as Bloomberg notes, of the 15 Ethereum futures ETFs filed by nine issuers, not all are expected to receive the green light. Notable issuers in the queue include VanEck, ProShares, Grayscale, Volatility Shares, Bitwise, Direxion and Roundhill.

Implications of the Decision

Scott Johnsson, financial attorney at Davis Polk, commented on the SEC’s last-minute approach: “I want everyone to realize that Gensler waited until now (giving issuers 48 hours) because he didn’t want to answer questions about this in the HFSC hearing today. You know, just functional agency stuff.”

Johnsson highlighted significant ramifications, including Gensler’s SEC implicit confirmation that CME ETH futures are not security futures, thus solidifying Ethereum’s status outside the realm of being a security. The move could lay the groundwork for spot-traded ETFs, as it would mean an approval that SEC Chairman Gensler will not withdraw Bitcoin futures approvals to prevent a spot ETF. Johnson had discussed this possibility in the past.

The impending US government shutdown, scheduled for 12:01 a.m. ET on October 1 if Congress does not finalize funding for a new fiscal year, threatens to disrupt the operations of all federal agencies, including financial regulators. This urgency appears to underscore the SEC’s pressure to speed up ETF approvals.

Although the possible introduction of Ethereum futures ETFs has stirred up the cryptosphere, it is crucial to note that the enthusiasm surrounding these instruments does not match the fervor seen for their spot counterparts. The United States already hosts Bitcoin futures ETFs since 2021. The ETH price was at $1,609, showing no reaction to the positive news so far.

By Audy Castaneda


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