VanEck intends to be first spot ETH ETF issuer, argues against simultaneous approvals


VanEck Head of Digital Assets Research Matthew Sigel said on May 22 that the firm should be able to launch its spot Ethereum ETF before competitors.

In a conversation hosted by The Block, Sigel said that VanEck was the first to file its S-1 registration statement and “fully expects” to receive comments and “go first.”

SEC should not pick winners

Sigel argued that filing first “used to mean something before the US government started picking winners at an unprecedented scale.” He added:

“… We would urge the SEC to respect the queue.”

Sigel noted that the SEC’s decision to simultaneously approve all spot Bitcoin ETFs failed to prevent it from “choosing winners,” as certain funds now have significant assets under management (AUM) despite the simultaneous approvals.

Sigel said VanEck does not expect to act as a plaintiff or defendant if the SEC rejects its application but expects other court proceedings to resolve the matter.

Sigel said in a separate X post that a first-come, first-served approach helps issuers plan product launches. Furthermore, if early filers are forced to wait for approvals, they must update their applications for a longer timeline and spend more on costs and legal fees.

VanEck decision due May 23

The SEC must decide on VanEck’s spot ETH ETF application on May 23. This is the first of several similar applications due for a decision. Expectations around approval timelines have recently shifted for reasons related to VanEck’s stance.

Coinbase Institutional Research Analyst David Han asserted on May 15 that the SEC does not necessarily need to approve products simultaneously, citing SEC Commissioner Mark Uyeda, who alleged the SEC disguised its anti-first mover intentions.

Some have suggested a prolonged approval process for reasons distinct from Sigel’s argument. ETF Store President Nate Geraci said the SEC could approve 19b-4 filings first, then gradually respond to S-1 registration statements.

Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart believes that, following initial 19b-4 approvals, companies may not launch ETH ETFs for weeks or more.

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