Apparent spot bitcoin ETF approval order is posted, then removed from SEC website

In a moment of 11th-hour drama, a post appeared — and quickly disappeared — from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website claiming that all 11 proposed bitcoin ETFs had been approved to list. 

These included planned funds by BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, Bitwise, VanEck, Valkyrie, Invesco, WisdomTree, Franklin Templeton, Hashdex, as well as Ark Invest and 21Shares. 

The now-deleted order — posted shortly before 4 pm ET Wednesday — listed each prospective issuer and their proposed product and claimed each had been approved to list on their respective exchanges.

“After careful review, the Commission finds that the proposals are consistent with the Exchange Act and rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange,” the now-deleted order said. The document’s veracity has not been confirmed.

Read more: Let’s be real: Bitcoin ETFs have never really mattered

The link no longer works, declaring a 404 error when visited by a Blockworks reporter. 

There had been no “effective” registration statements — a necessary step for final spot bitcoin ETF approval — as of 4:10 pm ET.

As investors tried to make sense of the disappearing webpage, Grayscale Investments noted that they had been in contact with the SEC and told their product had been approved. 

Grayscale said in a statement that it had received “necessary approvals” to uplist its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) to NYSE Arca. Different from other prospective spot bitcoin ETF issuers, the crypto-focused asset manager had sought to convert an existing vehicle, GBTC, to an ETF. 

“I am happy to confirm that the Grayscale team has received necessary approvals to uplist GBTC to NYSE Arca, and we will share a press release with additional information shortly,” Jennifer Rosenthal, Grayscale’s vice president of communications, told Blockworks in a statement.

However, a source close to Valkyrie told Blockworks that the firm had not heard from the SEC minutes after the link was taken down.

The SEC did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for comment. Neither Chair Gary Gensler’s X account nor the SEC’s official account, which had been “compromised” Wednesday, had posted an update. 

Read more: Gary Gensler says SEC’s X account was compromised, posted fake bitcoin ETF approval news

The developments are the latest wrinkle in the will-they-or-won’t-they spot bitcoin ETF approval parlor game that has played out, with increasing intensity, in recent days. On Tuesday, the SEC’s account on X was temporarily compromised and a false post declaring that such products had been approved was posted. 

The SEC has since said it is working with law enforcement, including the FBI, to investigate the matter. 

This is a developing story.

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