The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking the maximum time allowed for the regulator to reach a decision on a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund, or ETF, offering from ARK 21Shares.
In a Sept. 26 notice, the SEC said it would designate a longer period on whether to approve or disapprove of a proposed rule change that would allow ARK 21Shares’ spot BTC ETF on the Cboe BZX Exchange. The commission’s previous delay on Aug. 11 gave the regulator until Nov. 11 to decide whether to approve, disapprove, or again defer a decision.
“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change […] and the issues raised therein,” said the SEC.
The delay came the same day the SEC deferred a decision on the Bitcoin ETF offering from fund manager GlobalX. It’s unclear why the commission chose to designate longer periods to determine the fate of the spot Bitcoin ETF applications weeks ahead of their next deadlines in October and November — the regulator has usually waited until a few days before any deadline to file a delay.
With the additional 60 days to consider ARK 21Shares’ offering, the SEC’s final deadline for ARK 21Shares will be Jan. 10 — 240 days after the initial application was filed. The next deadline for GlobalX’s ETF will fall on Nov. 21.
UPDATE: Wow. The SEC just came out SUPER early and delayed the @ARKInvest / @21Shares #Bitcoin ETF filing. This thing wasn’t due for a decision until Nov 11.
Also delaying the @GlobalXETFs application which was due Oct 7. pic.twitter.com/7DiBq1h4Ef
— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) September 26, 2023
The filing followed a letter from a group of four U.S. Representatives calling for SEC chair Gary Gensler to “immediately” approve a spot Bitcoin ETF. The lawmakers claimed the SEC was practicing “inconsistent and discriminatory standards” in approving ETFs linked to crypto futures but not spot investment vehicles.
Related: Following SEC delays, ARK Invest and 21Shares file for spot Ether ETF
To date, the SEC has not approved any spot BTC ETF for listing on a U.S.-based exchange. Many industry experts had speculated the commission would reconsider pending ETF applications following the SEC’s loss to Grayscale in court in August.
At the time of publication, the next deadlines for spot crypto ETF applications from 7 major firms — BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Valkyrie, Bitwise, VanEck and Fidelity — are scheduled for October. The SEC can delay or extend these deadlines until March.
Magazine: SEC delays BTC ETF decision, Grayscale triumphs over SEC and BitBoy gets the boot: Hodler’s Digest, Aug. 27 – Sept. 2