The Securities and Exchange Commission has extended the deadline for making a decision on Fidelity's proposal for an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on Ethereum to 5 March, according to an announcement on Thursday.
"The Commission considers it necessary to allocate an extended period for making decisions on the proposed rule change to allow sufficient time for careful consideration of the proposed rule change and related issues," the SEC said.
Fidelity filed an application to establish the Fidelity Ethereum Fund in November, citing a court ruling last year that said the SEC had not given a clear reason why it should reject spot crypto-ETFs while approving futures-based products.
The SEC now has extra time to decide whether to approve, reject or take further action on the rule change.
Delay was expected
Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst James Seyffart said the delay by the SEC was expected. Seyffart reported in a post on X (formerly Twitter)
"Fidelity's #ethereum ETF has just been delayed, as expected. In my opinion, the key dates are the end of May,"
Last week, the SEC approved 11 spot bitcoin ETFs to start trading, which made some in the industry wonder whether a spot Ethereum ETF is the next step.
Fidelity joined the race for a spot Ethereum ETF late last year, along with industry peer BlackRock. Ether futures ETFs were launched a month before these companies filed applications for the spot products.
"The fact that they allowed the listing of futures-based ETFs indicates that they think about ether in the same way they think about bitcoin. From this you can infer that they probably believe it is not a security and they will not regulate it that way," Stuart Barton, co-founder of Volatility Shares, noted last week.