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Bitwise Files For Spot ETH ETF But Wants SEC to Delay Until December

Ethereum ETFs will be "more successful" if they launch in 12 months rather than May, says Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan

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Bitwise has filed for a Spot Ethereum ETF with the SEC but has expressed hope for the regulator to delay their decision until the end of the year.

The company filed for the application for the "Bitwise Ethereum ETF" on Thursday.

According to the filing, Bitwise aims to list on the NYSE Arca exchange with Coinbase Custody as a custodian.

Bitwise's application discusses staking in the context of Ethereum but does not detail the extent to which it will engage in it.

Bitwise, which is the issuer of the fifth biggest Bitcoin ETF (BITB), has taken a slightly reserved approach in fully embracing Ethereum ETFs.

Matt Hougan, CIO of Bitwise, has frequently stated that it would be better for the market if Ethereum ETFs were pushed back until December.

“Spot Ethereum ETFs will gather more assets if they launch in December versus if they launch in May,” Hogan said earlier this month. “TradFi needs more time to digest the Bitcoin ETFs.”

It's a message he recently echoed in an interview with Forbes. "I think the ether ETFs will be more successful if they launch in 12 months than if they launch in May," he said.

"I know that sounds goofy, but I think TradFi is still digesting Bitcoin and if you give TradFi time to get comfortable with Bitcoin and crypto, they will be ready for the next thing. But if you shove it down their throat in May, I'm not sure they will be. Part of me hopes that it's December or something like that because I think that would be better for the market."

"They'll be successful if they launch in May; they'll attract hundreds of millions of dollars or a billion dollars. But I think if they launch in December, they'll be even more successful," he added.

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A Bitwise survey found that 71% of financial advisors preferred Bitcoin over Ethereum last year.

“Aside from Bitcoin (which is in a class of its own), the most excitement I've heard in terms of real-world use is around stablecoins,” Hougan explained. “Seems clear to me that stablecoins will be a multi-trillion market by the end of 2025.”

The odds of the SEC approving Ethereum ETFs in May are dwindling. Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Eric Balchunas slashed his probability rate of approval from 70% to 35%.

James Butterfill, Head of Research at CoinShares, believes the ETH ETF window is looking more like Q3 rather than May.

“Currently, it appears that incorporating staking within a grantor trust is not feasible,” Butterfill told Decrypt.

“Given the SEC's history of postponements, as observed with Grayscale over ten years and Blackrock last September, the likelihood of further delays is high,” he continued. “With much optimism placed on May, investors might face disappointment.”

Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst James Seyffart said the radio silence from the SEC isn't encouraging. The regulators "need to start having convos with the issuers ASAP and they don’t seem to be doing that based on anything we’ve seen thus far," he said.