Valkyrie Funds halts ethereum purchases for exchange-traded fund

A representation of cryptocurrency Ethereum is placed on a PC motherboard in this illustration taken June 16, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) -Financial services firm Valkyrie Funds LLC said on Friday it will halt buying of ethereum for the Valkyrie Bitcoin and Ether Strategy ETF and unwind any positions already acquired, a stumbling block in its bid to be the first to bring an exchange traded fund (ETF) tied to the cryptocurrency ethereum to the market.

"The Fund will not purchase ether futures contracts until the effectiveness of an amendment to the Fund’s registration statement contemplating the addition of ether futures contracts to the principal investment strategy of the Fund," Valkyrie said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Until such time, the Fund will unwind any existing positions in ether futures contracts."

Valkyrie announced Thursday it had received the green light to acquire ethereum futures contracts as part of the conversion of an existing ETF tied only to Bitcoin to include ethereum. It would have been the first in a series of ETFs to offer exposure to "ether."

In a press release, Valkyrie said it expects the ETF's conversion will become effective "upon the earlier of October 3, 2023, or the time at which the SEC accelerates effectiveness of the registration statement."

The SEC could not immediately be reached for comment. Separately, VanEck, ProShares and Invesco all have filed to list a variety of ETFs tied to ethereum. Traders and media reports expect them to launch starting Monday.

(Reporting by Suzanne McGeeEditing by Chris Reese)

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