SEC Delays Decision on ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF to January 2024

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opted to extend the timeline for its decision on the proposed ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF until January 10 of the coming year, citing the need for more time to review the proposed rule change, as mentioned in a filing on Tuesday.

This delay occurred shortly after a bipartisan group of lawmakers urged SEC Chair Gary Gensler to expedite the approval of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Additionally, the SEC has postponed a decision on the proposed Global X Bitcoin Trust until November 21. This move suggests that further delays for applications related to spot bitcoin funds could be on the horizon. The SEC had initially indicated in June that it would either approve, disapprove, or initiate proceedings to determine disapproval of the ARK Invest and 21Shares fund application by August 13 but later requested new written comments, leading to these delays.

Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK, had anticipated the initial delay back in August, expressing her belief that the SEC might approve multiple bitcoin ETFs simultaneously. Currently, the SEC is reviewing applications for several other proposed spot bitcoin funds from prominent names such as BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, and Invesco. The ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF was among the first in line for consideration.

Recently, decision deadlines for various funds, including BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin Trust, Fidelity's Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, VanEck's Bitcoin Trust, WisdomTree's Bitcoin Trust, and the Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF, were extended to October 17, while the deadline for the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund was pushed to October 19. The Bitwise Bitcoin ETP Trust's decision deadline was also delayed to October 16.

It's worth noting that the SEC has not yet approved a spot bitcoin ETF, citing concerns related to fraud and manipulation, although it did permit the trading of the first bitcoin futures ETF in 2021.