April 19, 2024
SEC Extends Deadline for ARK 21Shares Spot Bitcoin ETF to January
Latest Cryptocurrency News

SEC Extends Deadline for ARK 21Shares Spot Bitcoin ETF to January

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is utilizing the maximum allowable time to deliberate on the approval of a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal by ARK 21Shares.

In a notice dated September 26, the SEC announced its decision to extend the timeframe for making a determination regarding the proposed rule change that would permit the introduction of ARK 21Shares’ spot BTC ETF on the Cboe BZX Exchange. An earlier delay, announced on August 11, had granted the SEC until November 11 to decide whether to approve, disapprove, or further postpone a decision. The SEC stated,

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change […] and the issues raised therein.” 

Interestingly, the SEC’s decision to extend the review period for spot Bitcoin ETF applications, such as ARK 21Shares, occurred several weeks before their upcoming deadlines in October and November. Typically, the regulator has waited until just a few days before a deadline to announce a delay.

As a result of the additional 60 days granted for the consideration of ARK 21Shares’ proposal, the SEC’s final deadline for making a determination will be January 10, marking 240 days since the initial application was submitted. Meanwhile, the next deadline for GlobalX’s ETF proposal is scheduled for November 21.

This filing came in response to a letter from a coalition of four U.S. Representatives urging SEC Chair Gary Gensler to grant swift approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF. These lawmakers contended that the SEC was applying “inconsistent and biased criteria” by approving ETFs associated with crypto futures while delaying decisions on spot investment products.

Up until now, the SEC has not granted approval to any spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETF for listing on a U.S.-based exchange. There was widespread speculation within the industry that the commission might reassess pending ETF applications following its legal defeat to Grayscale in August.

As of the current moment, the upcoming deadlines for spot cryptocurrency ETF applications submitted by seven prominent firms — BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Valkyrie, Bitwise, VanEck, and Fidelity — are set for October. It’s worth noting that the SEC retains the authority to postpone or extend these deadlines until March.

Photo by Alesia Kozik

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