The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a postponement in the approval or rejection of the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal presented by ARK Investment Management. The decision comes as the SEC initiates a 21-day public comment period for the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF after its publication in the Federal Register. This delay marks another setback in the SEC’s evaluation of the feasibility of a spot cryptocurrency ETF in the U.S. market.
ARK Investment Management, led by CEO Cathie Wood, initially filed for the ETF listing in May, granting the SEC a maximum of 240 days, extending until January 2024, to finalize its determination. Notably, the SEC clarified that the proposal’s approval does not hinge on the regulation of the spot Bitcoin market. Precedent suggests that a regulated market for a commodity or currency spot would be an exception, rather than the norm.
ARK Investment Management is among various U.S. firms seeking regulatory clearance for a spot cryptocurrency ETF to be traded on regulated exchanges. A significant player in the financial arena, BlackRock, submitted its application in July. Several other firms have also modified existing applications to incorporate Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, as a partner for surveillance-sharing. This strategic move follows reports indicating a potential SEC inclination towards ETF approval contingent upon such collaborations.
As the SEC extends its evaluation timeline once again, the prospect of a regulated spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. remains uncertain. Stakeholders eagerly await further developments during this comment period, which will help shape the eventual decision on ARK 21Shares’ proposal.