Analysts have pointed out that even if the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approves a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), the actual launch may be delayed for about a month. This delay is expected due to the two-step process of launching an ETF, which involves approval from the Trading and Markets division for the 19b-4 filing and approval from the Corporate Finance division for the S-1 filing or prospectus.
The Corporate Finance division focuses on fund operations details and risk disclosures. So far, nine out of the 12 Bitcoin ETF applications have submitted revised prospectuses indicating communication with Corporate Finance. Market analysts believe that if the SEC approves the 19b-4 approvals before the prospectus documents are signed off, the launch of a Bitcoin ETF may get delayed.
According to Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart, even if 19b-4 is approved, it could take weeks or months for an S-1 approval before the actual launch.
The SEC has an eight-day window, starting on Nov. 8 and ending on Nov. 17, to approve the first spot Bitcoin ETF. While the chances of approval have increased to 90%, pundits believe it won’t come until early next year.
The SEC had extended the deadline for comment on the spot Bitcoin ETF until Nov. 8, and the race for the spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. began with BlackRock filing its application. The 2023–2024 cycle has led many market commentators to predict a possible approval for the spot ETF, giving it a high chance of 90%.