SEC Extends Evaluation Period for Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF Application


The deliberations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have caused a delay in the verdict concerning the application of the Ark 21Shares bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This situation arises as the SEC carefully sifts through a multitude of ETF applications, not only from Ark Investment Management and 21Shares but also from established players in the conventional financial sector, such as BlackRock and Fidelity.

A protracted pursuit of ETF endorsement has characterized the efforts of Ark Investment Management and 21Shares, spanning back to 2021. Following an initial rebuff by the SEC, the duo reinitiated their endeavor earlier this year, aspiring to secure the elusive bitcoin ETF approval. The regulatory body, historically cautious about spot bitcoin ETF offerings due to concerns regarding potential market manipulation and inadequate safeguards against deleterious activities, is currently engaged in a meticulous evaluation of these proposals.

Should the ETF application achieve the coveted seal of approval, it would significantly democratize access to bitcoin's intrinsic value for a broader spectrum of the investing populace. Such an outcome would obviate the need for investors to possess the digital asset itself, while still enabling them to trade and hold its value.

Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, shared her insights with Bloomberg, conveying her anticipation of an impending delay in the SEC's pronouncement on her company's application. She also expressed her conviction that the SEC would ultimately grant simultaneous approvals for several applications. Foreseeing a landscape where most applications bear substantial similarity, Wood underscored the critical role of marketing and communication in determining their relative success. She emphasized her organization's extensive research dating back to 2015 as a cornerstone of their approach.

Conversely, Scott Farnin, the legal representative of the consumer advocacy group Better Markets, articulated a contrasting stance ahead of the SEC's verdict. Farnin unequivocally advocated for the wholesale dismissal of the bitcoin ETF applications, contending that the surveillance-sharing agreements outlined in the proposals were grossly inadequate.

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