Ethereum ETF Decision Recalls Spot Bitcoin Launch

Ethereum ETF Decision Recalls Spot Bitcoin Launch

Will a potential SEC approval of ether-based funds generate spot ETFs for more cryptocurrencies?

kent
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Research Lead
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

Remember the spot bitcoin ETF launch? 

As the spot Ethereum ETF approval drama unfolds, investors and exchange-traded fund industry observers can recall parallels between this case and events leading to the eventual approval and unveiling of spot bitcoin ETFs. 

In both cases, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initially exhibited caution toward approving spot ETFs for these cryptocurrencies. However, pressure from various stakeholders, including issuers, investors and the maturing crypto market, spurred a potential shift toward approval. 

Both decisions reflect growing recognition of the maturing cryptocurrency market and rapidly increasing institutional interest in these assets.  

The presence of spot bitcoin ETFs and the potential approval of an ether-based ETF suggest the SEC is considering the growing demand from investors for regulated ways to gain exposure to these cryptocurrencies. 

A key difference between the two cases is that the Ethereum ETF approval process may be faster than bitcoin's due to the legal precedent set by the August 2023 Grayscale court case, which effectively reversed the SEC’s initial rejection of the asset manager's spot bitcoin ETF application. 

Both cases highlight the complex path to approval and greater receptivity toward well-structured spot cryptocurrency ETFs. 

Is a Dogecoin ETF Next?

In the first two days of trading this week, the popular cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE) jumped 9% as investors began to speculate that the largest meme coin by market cap could be the next for a spot ETF approval. 

Crypto trader Andrew Kang tweeted to his 244,000 followers on X Tuesday, “the odds for a DOGE ETF look brighter than ever.” 

While speculation over more spot ETFs is not surprising, it would be surprising if a spot DOGE ETF was next in line. 

Cryptocurrencies with clear and demonstrably valuable use cases beyond speculation might be viewed more favorably. Additionally, a well-developed ecosystem with robust infrastructure for secure storage and transactions could be a plus. Widespread acceptance, measured by larger market capitalization (total value of all outstanding coins) and higher trading volume (liquidity) may also be considerations. 

For example, there are five cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin and ether that have larger market caps than Dogecoin, according to data from CoiMnarketCap.com. 

Behind Bitcoin and Ethereum, these are the largest cryptocurrencies on the market: 

  • Tether USDt (USDT): This stablecoin, with a market cap of roughly $111 billion, is pegged to the U.S. dollar and is a popular choice for investors seeking stability within the crypto market. 
  • BNB (BNB): The native coin of the Binance ecosystem, BNB, has a market cap of around $91 billion and is used for various purposes within the Binance exchange and its blockchain applications. 
  • Solana (SOL): Solana, known for its fast transaction processing speeds, currently has a market cap of approximately $80 billion. 

Overall, the spot Bitcoin ETF launches and increasingly likely spot Ethereum approvals are positive developments, but they don't guarantee a flood of spot ETFs for more cryptocurrencies. The SEC will likely continue cautiously, prioritizing established cryptocurrencies with well-structured ETF proposals. 

Kent Thune is Research Lead for etf.com, focusing on educational content, thought leadership, content management and search engine optimization. Before joining etf.com, he wrote for numerous investment websites, including Seeking Alpha and Kiplinger. 

 

Kent holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and is a practicing Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) with 25 years of experience managing investments, guiding clients through some of the worst economic and market environments in U.S. history. He has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching classes for The College of Charleston and Trident Technical College on the topics of retirement planning, business finance, and entrepreneurship. 

 

Kent founded a registered investment advisory firm in 2006 and is based in Hilton Head Island, SC, where he lives with his wife and two sons. Outside of work, Kent enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and working on his philosophy book, which he plans to publish in the coming year.