Speculation Surrounds Possible Approval of ETH ETFs

Speculation Surrounds Possible Approval of ETH ETFs

BY Timmy | ICIMay 21 · 3 min read

Ethereum Surges on ETF Hopes

The cryptocurrency world is abuzz with speculation as Ether, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, experiences its largest two-day gain in nearly two years. On May 21, 2024, Ether surged 8% to $3,775, its highest point in two months. This follows a 13.8% jump on Monday, (the 20th) driven by rumors that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might approve several spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking Ether.

Market Reactions and Price Movements

Ether’s impressive rally has sparked excitement across the crypto community. Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, also showed strong performance, trading at $71,000, just 4% shy of its March peak of $73,803.25.* This uptick in prices is attributed to the growing optimism that the SEC will approve the pending Ether ETF applications, a move that many believe could mirror the previous approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, which significantly boosted Bitcoin’s market activity earlier this year.

*As the day has progressed, since we began writing this article, the $BTC price has slipped to below $70k, though many are anticipating this to be a temporary floor and expecting a bounce.

The Path to Approval

SEC’s Decision Looms

The SEC is expected to make a decision on the first round of Ether ETF applications by May 23 and May 24. These include filings from prominent issuers like VanEck and ARK Investment Management. Analysts and investors are closely watching these dates, as the approval of these ETFs could mark a significant milestone for Ethereum and the broader cryptocurrency market.

Analysts Weigh In

Bloomberg analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart have increased their approval probability for the Ether ETFs from 25% to 75%. This shift in sentiment is based on recent reports indicating that the SEC has asked exchanges to update their filings, suggesting a potential move towards approval.

“Ethereum has taken pole position in the latest crypto rally ahead of Thursday’s first final SEC deadline to decide on an ETH ETF,” said Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at eToro. “Outright approval is a long shot, but any guidance on a pathway to eventual acceptance would be a big step forward.”

Market Dynamics

Investor Sentiment

Investor sentiment has turned bullish with the possibility of an SEC approval. Data from Binance shows a significant spike in Ethereum Net Taker Volume, indicating a strong preference for long positions among traders. This surge in activity highlights the market’s optimistic outlook on the potential ETF approval.

Broader Impact on Crypto Market

The speculation surrounding Ether ETFs has not only boosted Ethereum but has also had a positive ripple effect on the entire cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin’s rally, for instance, has been buoyed by the overall positive sentiment and the influx of capital into the market.

Regulatory Landscape

SEC’s Stance and Potential Implications

The SEC’s evolving stance on cryptocurrency ETFs is critical. The regulator has previously shown reluctance in approving such financial products, primarily due to concerns about market manipulation and security classification. However, the recent developments suggest a possible shift in this stance, driven by increasing pressure from the industry and market participants.

Joseph Edwards, head of research at Enigma Securities, noted, “Opposing the ETH ETF after the BTC one was approved always seemed like an odd case for the SEC to try to push, unless they were willing to open up questions on Ethereum’s securities status more broadly.”

Potential Challenges

While the outlook appears promising, there are still hurdles to overcome. The SEC’s ongoing investigation into whether Ether qualifies as a security remains a significant factor. If Ether is deemed a security, it could complicate the approval process for the ETFs.

Looking Ahead

Upcoming SEC Decisions

The next few days are crucial as the SEC makes its decisions on the Ether ETF applications. Any positive indications from the regulator could pave the way for a surge in Ether’s price and further solidify its position in the market. 


Broader Market Implications

An approval would not only validate Ether’s status as a mainstream financial asset but also encourage more institutional investment into the cryptocurrency space. This could lead to increased market stability and potentially new all-time highs for both Ether and Bitcoin.


The potential approval of Ether ETFs by the SEC represents a significant moment for the cryptocurrency market. As the decision date approaches, the market remains on edge, with investors eagerly anticipating what could be a transformative development for Ethereum and the broader crypto ecosystem.