ProShares Files S-1 Application for Spot Ethereum-ETF: Analysis of SEC Registration and Market Implications

ProShares Files S-1 Application for Spot Ethereum-ETF: Analysis of SEC Registration and Market Implications
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ProShares has officially submitted an S-1 application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the registration of a spot Ethereum-ETF. This move marks a significant step in the company's efforts to launch an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of Ethereum directly, rather than through futures contracts. The application process is still underway, with the SEC yet to grant its approval. This article delves into the details of ProShares' application, the regulatory landscape, and the potential impact on the market.

ProShares' Dual Application Process

ProShares took a unique approach by submitting two types of applications to the SEC: the 19b-4 form, which pertains to rule changes, and the S-1 form, which is specifically for registering new securities. The company initially filed the 19b-4 form, albeit later than some of its competitors. This delay in filing may have implications for the approval timeline and market launch.

SEC's Regulatory Stance

The SEC has yet to approve ProShares' spot Ethereum-ETF application. Notably, the regulatory body approved other similar applications on May 23, 2024, establishing a regulatory framework for spot Ethereum-ETFs. Despite the quick addition of ProShares' application to the SEC's website, as highlighted by Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart, the company has not received approval. Seyffart suggests that ProShares' fund might enter the market later than its counterparts.

Key Players and Partnerships

In its S-1 application, ProShares detailed its collaboration with Coinbase, which will act as the custodian for the ETF. Additionally, the Bank of New York Mellon is designated as the transfer agent. This arrangement indicates that ProShares has integrated a mechanism for issuing and redeeming shares in fiat currency, a crucial aspect that has been a point of contention between the SEC and ETF issuers, particularly during the launch of spot Bitcoin-ETFs.

Implications of the S-1 Filing

The S-1 filing is a critical component of ProShares' strategy to bring a spot Ethereum-ETF to market. The application outlines the technical and operational aspects of the fund, providing the SEC with the necessary information to evaluate its compliance with regulatory standards. The inclusion of Coinbase as the custodian and the Bank of New York Mellon as the transfer agent underscores ProShares' commitment to security and operational efficiency.

Market Reactions and Speculations

The SEC's delay in approving ProShares' application has led to speculation within the market. Companies submitted revised applications on May 31, 2024, with unconfirmed reports suggesting that the SEC's first response might be received by June 14. Investors and market analysts are closely monitoring the situation, as the approval of ProShares' spot Ethereum-ETF could significantly influence the market dynamics and investor sentiment.


ProShares' S-1 application for a spot Ethereum-ETF represents a pivotal moment in the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency investment products. The company's strategic approach, involving both the 19b-4 and S-1 forms, reflects its determination to navigate the complex regulatory environment and bring a new investment vehicle to market. As the SEC continues its review, the outcome of ProShares' application will be eagerly anticipated by investors, industry stakeholders, and market analysts alike. The launch of a spot Ethereum-ETF could potentially open up new opportunities for institutional and retail investors, further legitimizing Ethereum as a mainstream investment asset.