The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the review period for Grayscale’s spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) application. 

This agency’s decision comes a day after it delayed its decision BlackRock’s spot Ether ETF application.  

Spot Ether ETFs, unlike their futures-based counterparts, would allow investors to gain direct exposure to the price of Ethereum’s native token, Ether, without owning the cryptocurrency itself. 

Earlier this month, the U.S. securities regulators approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETF applications, allowing such funds to be traded for the first time in the world’s largest economy. 

Despite Bitcoin’s entry into the U.S. stock market, Ether prices outperformed the world’s largest cryptocurrency as investors speculated that an Ether-based spot ETF would be the next financial product to come to market. 

Both cryptocurrencies have struggled to capitalize on the positive momentum, as Bitcoin fell below US$40,000 for the first time since early December. BTC fell to US$39,813 at the time of writing, down 4.6% in the past seven days and 14.2% in two weeks. 

Ether has returned to its pre-Bitcoin ETF prices, and traded at US$2,211, down nearly 15% in two weeks, according to CoinGecko data. 

However, Ethereum-based non-fungible token sales have been surging, with the number of buyers rising by 28.41% to 13,234 traders in the past 24 hours alone. Ether NFT sales rose 11.22% in the past day, while Bitcoin Ordinals dropped 9.18%, CryptoSlam data shows.