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ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF Application Verdict Delayed by SEC

ARK 21Shares CEO Cathie Wood Anticipates SEC Delay on BTC ETF

Cathie Wood, the CEO of ARK 21Shares Investment Management, predicted on August 7th that the SEC would postpone its decision on the company’s BTC ETF application.

Cathie Wood, the CEO of ARK 21Shares with Bitcoin logo

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed the decision to approve or disapprove ARK Investment Management’s proposed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In a notice dated August 11th, the SEC initiated a 21-day public comment period on the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF after its publication in the Federal Register. This marks the latest extension as the regulatory body deliberates on endorsing or rejecting a cryptocurrency ETF in the US. ARK initially submitted the ETF listing request in May, giving the SEC up to 240 days, until January 2024, to make a final determination.

To be listed on the Cboe BZX Exchange, which is ARK Investment Management’s goal, an applicant needs to provide proof of a “comprehensive surveillance-sharing agreement in place with a regulated market of significant size.” The SEC had previously rejected the company’s crypto ETF propositions, citing concerns that they wouldn’t effectively prevent fraudulent activities or safeguard investors.

“The regulated market of significant size test does not require that the spot bitcoin market be regulated for the Commission to approve this proposal, and precedent makes clear that an underlying market for a spot commodity or currency being a regulated market would actually be an exception to the norm,” stated the SEC on August 11th.

Ark Investment Management and 21Shares, who have been pursuing ETF approval since 2021, once again submitted their initial potential bitcoin ETF applications earlier this year, following a second attempt being rejected by the SEC. The SEC has declined spot bitcoin ETF products, citing concerns about possible market manipulation and insufficient investor safeguards against detrimental activities.

If an ETF gains approval, it would provide a wider range of the general investing public the opportunity to engage in trading and retaining the value of bitcoin without the necessity of possessing the digital asset itself.

Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK Invest, told Bloomberg on Monday that she anticipated a postponement in the decision regarding her firm’s application. However, she believes that the SEC will eventually endorse multiple applications simultaneously.

We covered an article on that here.

“Because most of these essentially will be the same, it will come down to marketing, communicating, the message” to see how they do, she said. “We’re trying to get the word out there that our research is deep, and we’ve been doing it since 2015.”

ARK Investment Management is among the numerous companies in the United States striving to secure approval for a spot cryptocurrency ETF to be listed on a regulated exchange. Notably, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm, submitted its own application in July.

Several companies have also revised their existing applications to incorporate cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase as a partner for sharing surveillance information. This adjustment comes in response to reports suggesting that SEC officials might be more receptive to considering a spot crypto ETF under these conditions.

As of August 15, the SEC has not granted approval for any spot crypto ETF application, allowing only investment instruments linked to BTC futures since October 2021. Presently, Grayscale is entangled in a legal dispute with the SEC due to the commission’s refusal to authorize the listing of its Bitcoin trust as a spot Bitcoin ETF.


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