Why Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval Odds Just Shot Up, According To Bloomberg

Ex-SEC Chair Joins Chorus Pushing For Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval

ETF analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence, James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas, have raised their odds for the launch of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States to 65% — a substantial jump from the 50% estimate just a couple of weeks ago, and a mere 1% a few months back.

Developments Favoring Spot Bitcoin ETF

Bloomberg analysts have highlighted multiple developments around the crypto market that have compelled them to ramp up their approval odds for a Bitcoin spot ETF to 65%.

“The odds of a spot Bitcoin ETF launching this year are up to 65%, in our eyes, after a flurry of developments,” ETF strategists James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas noted. They previously assigned a 50% chance.

Bringing about the more upbeat perspective is an observation that SEC Chair Gary Gensler downplayed his role within the agency during a recent interview, emphasizing that he is one of five commissioners and thus can’t singularly determine the outcome of a spot ETF approval. 

“The deflection seemed a change in the way he normally handles these topics,” the Bloomberg analysts wrote, pointing out that while there are five members, the chair has far more control and it would be unusual if the two other Democratic commissioners were to make a different decision. “We believe this may be a signal that aspects of the anti-crypto stance are becoming politically untenable for Gensler.”


Additionally, the strategists view the SEC’s approach to Coinbase as potentially transformative for the crypto world. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong recently revealed that the commission previously asked the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. to delist all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin. “This solidifies our view that if the SEC is going to bend anywhere on crypto ETFs, it will be with regard to bitcoin ETFs,” Seyffart and Balchanus stated.

Another positive development that the analysts further pointed to is the SEC’s suit with Grayscale. Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas noted a recent case in which the SEC lost to SPIKES futures, recalling that the judge referred to the SEC order as “arbitrary and capricious”. This could bode well for Grayscale, which leveraged similar legal wording in its lawsuit against the agency. 

That said, Grayscale’s victory against the SEC could trigger a series of concurrent approvals for all spot Bitcoin ETF filings by the end of the fourth quarter later this year, Balchunas and Seyffart predicted.

While the recent developments have created an optimistic viewpoint, it’s important to remember that spot ETF approval by the SEC remains unpredictable. Seyffart explained, “BlackRock and the Coinbase SSA drastically changed any and all spot Bitcoin etf analysis. Not to mention the ripple case which is less important but still relevant. We update our views and opinions as new information comes to light. But you’re right. We don’t have a crystal ball.”

Spot Bitcoin ETF Would Be A Big Deal

A slew of some of the most prominent traditional financial institutions, including Blackrock, Fidelity, Valkyrie, WisdomTree, and ARK Invest, is now fighting for the title of the first to offer a spot BTC ETF, which would give institutional investors direct exposure to the premier cryptocurrency rather than futures contracts.

Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected every application for a spot Bitcoin ETF, many pundits think there’s a good chance that the regulator gives the nod to at least some of the applications. Most believe BlackRock, which has rarely been denied an ETF application in the past, is more likely to be approved.

A US-approved Bitcoin ETF would be a wondrous thing, opine many in the cryptosphere. Were the SEC to greenlight a spot BTC ETF listing, confidence in the world’s largest and oldest cryptocurrency would soar; institutional and retail investors would flock in, and Bitcoin’s price would shoot to the moon.