The asset management firm Valkyrie, which has been considered one of the frontrunners for the first Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, recently decided to pause its purchase of Ether futures contracts. This decision comes in light of the firm’s strategy to wait for the approval of an Ether futures ETF by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). While Valkyrie had initially secured approval to offer investors exposure to Ether futures, this latest development raises questions about the firm’s chances of becoming one of the pioneers in introducing an Ethereum ETF in the US.
The Decision to Pause and Unwind
Valkyrie filed a 497 with the SEC, stating that it would halt the purchase of Ether futures contracts and unwind its existing positions. The filing indicated that the firm would only resume the purchase of these contracts once an amendment to the fund’s registration statement is approved. The reason behind this decision remains unclear, but Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas speculated that the SEC may have threatened Valkyrie to stop its Ether futures purchases. This unexpected halt suggests potential obstacles in Valkyrie’s path towards launching an Ethereum ETF in the US.
The SEC’s apparent fast-tracking of an Ethereum futures ETF approval is an interesting factor in Valkyrie’s decision. Anticipating a potential US government shutdown, the SEC seems keen to expedite the approval process. Valkyrie’s decision to purchase Ether futures contracts for its combined strategy ETF ahead of a possible launch next week aligns with this accelerated timeline. However, the subsequent pause and unwind of these positions raise concerns about the firm’s ability to secure the title of the first Ethereum ETF provider in the US.
The Competition for Ethereum ETFs
Valkyrie’s unique Ethereum ETF application was filed with the SEC in August, intending to convert its existing Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF) into a combined Bitcoin and Ether futures ETF. According to Eric Balchunas, around nine potential Ethereum ETFs may start trading on October 2, with asset manager ProShares being the owner of three of these funds, including two combined Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs. VanEck stands as another prominent contender for the first Ether futures ETF in the US. The investment manager recently announced its intent to donate 10% of profits from its Ethereum ETF (EFUT) to The Protocol Guild, a compensation plan for Ethereum core contributors.
The news of a potential Ethereum ETF launch has had a positive impact on the price of Ether. As of the writing of this article, Ether is valued at $1,676, reflecting a substantial 5% price increase over the past week. This upward movement demonstrates the market’s optimism regarding the possibilities that an Ethereum ETF may bring in terms of increased demand and investment opportunities.
Valkyrie’s decision to pause its purchase of Ether futures contracts and unwind its existing positions presents a significant setback in the firm’s quest to become a pioneer in providing an Ethereum ETF in the US. The accelerated approval process for Ethereum futures ETFs by the SEC adds complexity to the situation. With competition from other asset managers and investment firms, Valkyrie must strategize its next move carefully to maintain its position in the Ethereum ETF race. Ultimately, the impact of Valkyrie’s decision and the SEC’s approval process on the future of Ethereum ETFs in the United States remains to be seen.