Standard Chartered Forecasts SEC Approval of Ether ETFs

Standard Chartered anticipates that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) imminently, potentially as early as this week, the Block¬†reported. This forecast follows the SEC’s recent request for amendments to 19b-4 filings from exchanges ahead of the May 23 and May 24 deadlines, signaling possible progress toward approval.

Geoff Kendrick, Head of FX Research and Digital Assets Research at Standard Chartered, has expressed high confidence in this outcome, estimating an “80% to 90%” chance of approval. This optimistic stance marks a significant shift from the bank’s earlier skepticism. The anticipated approval of these ETFs could lead to substantial inflows into Ether, ranging from 2.39 million to 9.15 million Ether within the first year, equivalent to approximately $15 billion to $45 billion in U.S. dollar terms.

Standard Chartered’s analysis suggests that the approval of Ether ETFs will have a profound impact on the cryptocurrency market. Kendrick predicts that Ether could reach $8,000 by the end of 2024 if Bitcoin achieves its projected price of $150,000. This forecast is based on maintaining the current price ratio of 5.4% between Ether and Bitcoin.

The expected influx of investment into Ether ETFs mirrors the experience with Bitcoin ETFs, which have seen significant inflows and have contributed to Bitcoin’s price appreciation. Bloomberg ETF analysts James Seyffart and Eric Balchunas have also revised their probability estimates for approval, increasing the likelihood from 25% to 75%.

The anticipation of ETF approval has already influenced the market, with Ether’s price surging by over 19% in the past 24 hours, reaching $3,719. The broader cryptocurrency market, represented by the GM 30 Index, also saw a notable increase of 9.25%.

Kendrick emphasizes that the approval of Ether ETFs would not only boost Ether prices but also positively impact Bitcoin. He suggests that the legitimization of the Ether market through ETF approval would enhance investor confidence in the broader cryptocurrency sector, potentially driving Bitcoin to new all-time highs. Bitcoin is currently trading at $70,314, having recently peaked at $73,737.

The SEC’s decision on Ether ETFs comes at a crucial time for the cryptocurrency market, which has been eagerly awaiting regulatory clarity. The approval of Bitcoin ETFs in January set a precedent, but the regulator has been more cautious with Ether. The recent flurry of activity, including the SEC’s request for updated filings, has rekindled optimism among market participants.

Standard Chartered has also revised its long-term predictions for Ether and Bitcoin. By the end of 2025, the bank anticipates Bitcoin could reach $200,000, with Ether potentially climbing to $14,000. These projections highlight the bank’s bullish outlook on the continued adoption and institutionalization of cryptocurrencies.