The US Securities and Exchange Commission is likely to allow exchange-traded funds to hold the cryptocurrency Ethereum in May, Standard Chartered predicts.
May 23 is the last date by which the agency must consider ETF applications from VanEck and Ark 21Shares, the bank said in a research report Tuesday. The asset managers will be the first to come up against the final deadline.
Standard Chartered expects the SEC to rule on the applications on the final date, as it did on January 10, when it approved 10 Bitcoin ETFs. Ethereum has key similarities to Bitcoin’s legal and financial status that suggests it will follow a similar approval pattern, according to Geoff Kendrick, the head of FX Research, West, and Digital Assets Research at Standard Chartered.
Last June, the SEC left Bitcoin and Ether off a list of 67 tokens it considered to be securities. In addition, Ether — like Bitcoin — also has futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange — a key surveillance tool. At about $285 billion (roughly Rs. 23,66,701 crore), Ether is the second-largest cryptocurrency in market value after Bitcoin.
Kendrick expects Ether’s price to rise to $4,000 (roughly Rs. 3,32,168) by the projected May 23 approval date, assuming that it follows a trading pattern similar to Bitcoin through the ETF approval process. Ether traded at about $2,370 (roughly Rs. 1,96,809) on Tuesday.
That price prediction, however, is based on multiple assumptions being true, including general market sentiment for approval remaining low, implied-volatility being wrong, and the SEC approving multiple applications on the same day.
Ether is expected to avoid much of the selloffs that Bitcoin experienced post-ETF approval, Standard Chartered said. Bitcoin fell as much as 20 percent following the ETF approval as investors, including FTX, sold billions in holdings of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). The fund was converted from a trust that holders couldn’t make redemptions. Grayscale’s existing Ethereum trust holds a smaller portion of the total market capitalization of Ether, compared with the Bitcoin held in GBTC.
“These factors should make ETH less vulnerable than BTC to a post-approval selloff,” Kendrick wrote.
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