U.S. Post-Election Outlook: TD Cowen Predicts Delayed Approval for Ethereum Spot ETFs

  • TD Cowen predicts delayed approval for Ethereum spot ETFs.
  • The SEC’s recent approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs shifts focus to Ethereum.
  • Ethereum’s classification by the SEC is a pivotal factor in ETF approval.
  • JPMorgan estimates a 50% chance of Ethereum being classified as a commodity.
  • SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s term ends in 2026, influencing the regulatory approach.

In the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs), TD Cowen, a notable investment bank, has expressed skepticism about the near-term approval of Ethereum spot ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This follows the SEC’s recent approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs, shifting focus towards Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Ethereum Spot ETFs: A Distant Reality?

The SEC’s Stance on Ethereum Spot ETFs

TD Cowen anticipates that the SEC is unlikely to approve Ethereum spot ETFs shortly, preferring to gain experience with Bitcoin ETFs first. The bank suggests that any potential approval for Bitcoin spot ETFs would likely occur after the U.S. elections scheduled for November 5, 2024.

Recent Developments in Cryptocurrency ETFs

The SEC’s recent approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs came 26 months after it greenlit Bitcoin futures ETFs in October 2021. This indicates a cautious and gradual approach to cryptocurrency ETFs by the regulatory body.

TD Cowen’s Analysis

TD Cowen expressed, “We believe the agency will not approve ETFs for other cryptocurrencies anytime soon, as it likely wants to gain experience with Bitcoin ETFs before considering Ethereum or other tokens.

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The Uncertain Future of Ethereum Spot ETFs

The Key Role of Ethereum’s Classification

Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, an analyst at JPMorgan, highlights that the approval of Ethereum spot ETFs largely hinges on whether the SEC classifies Ethereum as a commodity, similar to Bitcoin, or as a security. This distinction is critical as it determines the applicable regulatory framework.

JPMorgan’s Viewpoint

JPMorgan estimates that the likelihood of the SEC categorizing Ethereum as a commodity before May is no higher than 50%.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s Approach

Gary Gensler, the SEC Chairman whose term ends in June 2026, is expected to maintain a slow approach, awaiting clear cryptocurrency regulatory frameworks from Congress. This could imply a methodical progress in the approval of cryptocurrency-related financial products under a potentially Democratic-majority SEC.


While the cryptocurrency market eagerly anticipates the approval of Ethereum spot ETFs, the outlook remains cautious. The SEC’s approach, coupled with pending decisions on Ethereum’s classification, suggests that investors might need to wait longer for these ETFs to materialize.

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