SEC to greenlight Ether ETFs this Wednesday

Standard Chartered Bank expects that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve spot ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) this week, as the first round of deadlines approaches. VanEck’s deadline is May 23, followed by ARK Invest and 21Shares on May 24.

Geoff Kendrick, Head of FX Research and Digital Assets Research at Standard Chartered, wrote that he is “80% to 90%” sure that ether ETFs will be approved this week. “After approval, we estimate that spot ETFs will drive inflows of 2.39-9.15 million ether in the first 12 months after approval,” Kendrick said. “In U.S. dollar terms, that equates to roughly $15 billion to $45 billion.”

Kendrick also noted that the anticipated inflows as a percentage of market cap are similar to their estimates for bitcoin ETFs, which have proven accurate. He projected an ether year-end price target of $8,000 if the spot ether ETFs are approved, maintaining the current 5.4% price ratio relative to bitcoin.

SEC requests amended filings

“Given that we now see bitcoin reaching the $150,000 level by end-2024, this would imply a level of $8,000 for ether,” Kendrick said. He also reiterated a previous projection that ether could reach $14,000 by the end of 2025, assuming bitcoin hits $200,000 by that time.

On Monday, the SEC requested updates to 19b-4 filings for spot ether ETFs ahead of this week’s deadlines, indicating progress toward approval. Following this request, Bloomberg ETF analysts James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas increased their estimated chances of SEC approval from 25% to 75%.

In response to the optimistic outlook, ether’s price surged by over 19% in the past 24 hours, reaching $3,719. Standard Chartered, with over $800 billion in assets under management, believes the SEC will approve spot ether ETFs by May 24.

However, VanEck CEO Jan van Eck questioned the rumors around SEC’s approval, pointing to the regulator’s delays and reluctance. Similarly, asset manager Grayscale withdrew its application for an Ether futures ETF, and its CEO Michael Sonnenshein resigned on May 20.