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Extended Review: Bitcoin ETF Proposals by ARK 21Shares

Martin Walker
Sep 27, 2023 at 07:43 am

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in its deliberative process, is currently utilizing the entire permissible time frame to carefully consider a proposed exchange-traded fund (ETF) centered around Bitcoin (BTC) from ARK 21Shares. Notably, the BTC ticker reflects a current value of $26,216, lending an air of anticipation to this regulatory endeavor.

On the 26th day of September, the SEC unveiled its decision to extend the timeline for its decision-making process concerning the approval or disapproval of the proposed rule change put forth by ARK 21Shares, which aims to list the BTC ETF on the Cboe BZX Exchange. It's worth mentioning that the commission had previously granted an extension on August 11, providing an expanded window until November 11. Within this window, the SEC retains the authority to render a decision encompassing approval, disapproval, or further postponement.

"The Commission finds it prudent to exercise caution and designate an extended period for the comprehensive evaluation of the proposed rule change, ensuring sufficient time to scrutinize the proposal and address the pertinent concerns," affirmed the SEC.

Coinciding with this prolongation, the SEC also opted to defer its verdict on a Bitcoin ETF application submitted by fund manager GlobalX. The motivations behind the SEC's choice to extend the review process for these spot Bitcoin ETF applications, well in advance of their impending deadlines in October and November, remain somewhat enigmatic. Traditionally, the commission has deferred announcing any delays until the eleventh hour, adding an element of suspense to these regulatory matters.

Incorporating an additional 60 days for the meticulous evaluation of ARK 21Shares' proposal, the SEC has effectively shifted the ultimate deadline for ARK 21Shares to January 10, marking precisely 240 days from the date of the initial application submission. Conversely, the deadline for GlobalX's ETF is now set to culminate on November 21.

This decision to extend the evaluation period comes on the heels of a compelling letter from a coalition of four U.S. Representatives, who urged SEC chair Gary Gensler to expedite the approval of a Bitcoin ETF. These lawmakers contend that the SEC's actions have been marked by a perceived inconsistency and disparity in its standards, favoring ETFs linked to crypto futures over those associated with spot investment vehicles.

As of the date of this publication, the deadlines for spot crypto ETF applications from seven prominent firms—BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Valkyrie, Bitwise, VanEck, and Fidelity—are scheduled for October. It's important to note that the SEC retains the prerogative to further prolong or extend these deadlines, potentially deferring the resolution of these regulatory matters until March.

Read more: Bitcoin at $26K: Crypto Traders Tilt Bearish; DOGE and XRP Lead Major Dips

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