JPMorgan Cautions Against High Odds of Spot Ethereum ETF Approval by May


In light of the recent approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), JPMorgan expresses skepticism regarding the likelihood of a similar approval for spot Ethereum ETFs by May, which marks the first deadline for such approvals. JPMorgan's Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou suggests that for the SEC to greenlight spot Ethereum ETFs, Ethereum would need to be classified as a commodity, akin to Bitcoin, rather than a security. However, Panigirtzoglou asserts that this outcome is uncertain, assigning no more than a 50% chance to the SEC classifying Ethereum as a commodity before May.

Despite the recent surge in the price of Ether, traders speculating on the approval of spot Ethereum ETFs might face challenges. Panigirtzoglou notes that the SEC continues to indicate its view that all cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin are still considered securities. JPMorgan's earlier speculation suggested that U.S. lawmakers could potentially create a new category for Ethereum, avoiding classification as a security. However, the SEC's stance on tokens utilizing staking protocols, like Ethereum's ETH token, raises questions about the potential classification as securities.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler previously hinted that tokens using staking protocols could be considered securities under U.S. law. Although the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs occurred, Gensler clarified that this decision doesn't signal a willingness to approve listing standards for crypto asset securities. While some analysts, such as Bloomberg Intelligence's James Seyffart, express optimism about the approval of spot ETH ETFs, JPMorgan remains cautious. The SEC's recent approval of Bitcoin ETFs was influenced by prior approval of Bitcoin futures ETFs and a federal court ruling to review the rejection of Grayscale's attempt to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF.

Despite several firms, including BlackRock and Fidelity, filing for spot Ethereum ETFs, JPMorgan's reservations underscore the uncertainty surrounding the SEC's decision-making process.

Disclaimer: This analysis is based on available information and expert opinions, and it is not financial advice. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research before making investment decisions.

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