Will there be an SEC approval for a Spot Ethereum ETF the May 23rd, 2024?
resolved May 25

With the SEC approving Spot Bitcoin ETFs recently, attention has turned to Ethereum as the next ETF opportunity. So will the SEC give approval to any financial firm to offer a spot ETH ETF by their deadline date?

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Resolving N/A per the below discussion, after conferring with other mods.

In the description:

"the SEC give approval to any financial firm to offer a spot ETH ETF by their deadline date?"
I think it's clear the SEC gives "an approval to a financial firm to offer a spot ETF"
I'm wrong?

So, gonna repurpose my comment from another market like this that we also have frozen:


Thanks for making this market! I think it's a good market and reasonable for you to have run it as you have, but I'm going to post a wall of text at you now for reasons mostly not to do with you so please don't take it as criticism of your market!

I spent a lot of time following this because of the controversial Polymarket on the subject. I also talked about it a lot with my fellow mods, particularly @jacksonpolack.

Based on everything we've read about this today, we think its factually inaccurate to say that the Ethereum ETF itself was approved today.

Other users have pointed out this problem with the criteria, and they've traded on it. We'd like for traders to be able to expect that Manifold will try to be correct about stuff like this, so we want to make sure we're getting this right!

See this Coinpedia article, where they explain the process of approval in detail:

The journey towards the spot Ethereum ETF’s approval is a critical moment for the crypto market. A spot Ethereum ETF, which would hold Ether as its underlying asset directly, needs approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to trade on stock exchanges.

But there’s a lot that goes in behind the scenes to make this possible.

The journey to approval primarily traverses two crucial components: the 19b-4 filings and the S-1 registration statements.

The journey to approval of the ETF goes through the 19b-4 and the S-1. Neither on its own is the approval itself. What happened today was the approval of the proposed rule change that allows for the ETF if and only if the S-1 also goes through, and the rules change just actually is not the same thing as the final approval.

While many headlines today said "ETF approved!", headlines are often sensational about these kinds of things and I don't think it's correct to resolve on them when informed traders are expecting the market to resolve based on the actual definitions of the words used in the market.

We can see that Bloomberg took this more seriously, with a much more measured headline and article:

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday paved the way for trading in exchange-traded funds that invest directly in the cryptocurrency Ether, putting the digital-asset industry on the cusp of a significant milestone.

In a first-of-its-kind blessing, the SEC signed off on a proposal by exchanges including Cboe Global Markets Inc. to list products tied to the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency. The move, which had seemed unlikely as recently as last week, removes a key hurdle for spot Ether ETF trading in the US. Issuers now need a separate sign-off from the regulator; no deadline has been set for that decision.

Usually this kind of technicality doesn't make a difference, but in cases like this where the exact timing of the appproval is part of the resolution criteria, it's actually very important for a correct resolution!

Manifold has been more lax about these kinds of technicalities in the past, but we're trying to take everything more seriously as the site intends to introduce cash prizes soon and Mana needs to be treated more seriously.

/end speech

So none of this is what you meant when you made the market, obviously. But it's still a question that some traders brought up, and it would be bad for those traders' bets to resolve against them when they were right about the facts.

However, given that this market could never have resolved YES in the first place according to the definitions outlined above, it means this market was unfortunately doomed from the start. For that reason, rather than resolving it to NO my thought is that the best resolution is N/A, which cancels all trades and gives everyone back their mana so no one loses.

@Carlosab83 Is that okay with you? Open to hearing if we are in fact wrong about the facts in some way here.

@Joshua I should also say this is all way too much effort for us all to spend on the resolution market with 20 traders, of course.

But I think it's an important precedent that Manifold will try to get the facts right whenever possible.

And when there's a clear contradiction between the spirit of the market/intent of the asker and the facts that traders correctly point out and trade on, we have the option to just cancel the question so no one gets burned too bad from trading on different assumptions.

We're trying to use N/A less often these days, but this is a case where it's clearly called for IMO.

@Joshua i think this is clear and well-reasoned. i want to add that many of these markets were written to mirror the spirit of the BTC ETF approval process. however, that process was inverted to the ETH ETF - the S-1s went first, then the 19b-4. the "BTC ETF approved" headlines came only after both parts were approved.

i considered the possibility that S-1s weren't approved in time and understood how they were related, but i didn't place my best on that information. i didn't see anybody else on manifold mention the possibility before the SEC's announcement, either. traders should blame the SEC, not the manifold mod team.

i think resolving n/a, while not ideal, is a "best case" outcome here. thanks for your efforts.

I closed this market as a mod, we're looking at all these markets after all the Polymarket drama on a similar question. @Carlosab83 can you leave it closed for now?

Gonna assume he missed this comment. Un-resolving. I think a market like this is a good case for an N/A resolution, because as the comments point out below it could never have accurately resolved YES without the S-1.

@Joshua I agree and I work in the industry. N/A is an acceptable outcome for 23 May markets. EOY / yearly markets should remain unresolved until S-1s come through.

@Joshua Sorry if I made a mistake, this is the first time I made a question.
I think I reopen it again.

bought Ṁ250 NO

@Carlosab83 I think Joshua wants the market to stay closed for now as the moderation team figures out how to resolve these questions based on some technical issues with the ETF approval.

@Joshua I'm not sure how to close it or leave it closed.
First question I made ever.

@Joshua I made it invisible if this helps

@Carlosab83 Hi! Yeah no need to do anything on your part, just leave it closed for now please. Not saying you did anything wrong at any step here, especially as your first market.

It's just a complicated situation where we'd ideally like all the markets about a factual question to resolve together in the technically correct way.

@Joshua it's closed or I need to do something?

@Carlosab83 You don't need to do anything, just leave it closed for now.

@Joshua It's closed now?
I don't know if it's closed.

@Carlosab83 Yeah it's currently closed, but I'd like to resolve it N/A so as not to punish the traders who bought no after pointing out that approval of the 19b-4 is not actually approval of the ETF itself, it's just the first step.

This is just so clearly yes. The rules are so vague. I think resolving no with the rules written as they are would just be a gross mis resolution.

Poorly worded version ("before") of the same question.

bought Ṁ100 NO

The phrasing of this question is unfortunate, as there's 0% chance it'll get approved today, as the S-1 is also needed, and won't be approved yet.

bought Ṁ50 NO

@ErikBjareholt Exactly, it's funny because polymarket has a similar market. You should check out the comments, people have been going wild about this exact issue you described.

I expect a lot of headline to come out: "eth etf approved". But then technically it can only be approved after the s-1. So it will cause lot of confusion probably for the average gambler.

bought Ṁ50 NO

@ErikBjareholt I hope the market creator won't rug this market and be fair, i see he bet yes. Is there a way to involve some mod or something to resolve this market in case that happens?

@NielS I would certainly ask a mod to step in if so.

@NielS Lol, about that Polymarket

@ErikBjareholt Yeah but it's going to be a shitshow that market on poly. 10 million dollar in bets on that market. That's big money for a market where there is lot of confusion on the actual rules who could be written better. One side will be unhappy with the outcome. Polymarket should start hiring a lawyer to write the rules on these markets. They fucked up many times in the past already. This time i think it's clear the s-1 is needed but they just talk about approval. They could been more clear, what type of approval? Full approval i assume?

@NielS Polymarket resolves yes.

@Carlosab83 ok and?

@ErikBjareholt the phrasing is also unfortunate because it has a "the" in the title where I think it meant either "by" or "on".