The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started a public comment period for Bitcoin ETF applications earlier than expected, leading to optimism about the launch of these products. The SEC published filings to receive public feedback on the proposed Franklin Bitcoin ETF and Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF funds. This move suggests a potential acceleration of the SEC's timeline for approving a "spotcoin" ETF. Normally, the SEC has 240 days to approve or deny an ETF filing, but by opening the public comment period earlier, the SEC may be indicating its intention to expedite the approval process. Analysts believe that the SEC may approve the funds around January 10, 2024. Franklin Templeton, a firm with $1.5 trillion in assets under management, filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF and recently amended its prospectus to address the SEC's concerns. The SEC has historically denied or delayed spotcoin ETFs due to concerns over market manipulation and investor protection, but after a lawsuit loss to Grayscale Investments, they have been collaborating more closely with firms to explore the possibility of approving such funds. It is believed that the SEC will approve multiple applications simultaneously to prevent any single firm from gaining a first-mover advantage. Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services firm, also believes that the approval of a spot BTC ETF is getting closer. Currently, the SEC is evaluating 13 applications for spot BTC ETFs. The optimism around the launch of a spot Bitcoin ETF has contributed to the recent rally in crypto markets.
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