Fidelity’s quest to launch a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) has hit a regulatory roadblock as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended its decision window. 

Fidelity’s Wise Origin Ethereum Trust, if approved, is a fund that would track the performance of Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It would allow investors to gain exposure to digital assets without directly owning them. 

According to James Seyffart, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg, the SEC may choose to approve a batch of spot Ethereum ETFs as it did with Bitcoin. Seyffart pointed to May 23 as the next key date, the deadline for the regulator’s decision on VanEck’s Ethereum ETF application. 

The SEC approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs last week, allowing such funds to be traded for the first time in the U.S. Before the approvals, the SEC rejected all spot Bitcoin ETF applications. 

Ether price outshined Bitcoin’s price following the approvals surging past US$2,600 for the first time since May 2022, CoinGecko data shows. Ether has since fallen, losing 7% over the past week to US$2,436 at 12:30 p.m. ET. Bitcoin dropped 6.4% in the same period to trade at US$40,642. 

Fidelity’s Bitcoin ETF, one the funds that received the SEC’s green light last week, crossed the US$1 billion today, becoming the second to do so, The Block reported