The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again delayed its decision on the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This is the third time the SEC has deferred its decision since the ETF was initially proposed in April 2023. The regulator now has until January 10, 2024, to make a final decision. Other issuers, such as BlackRock and Fidelity Investments, are also waiting for the SEC’s decision on their respective ETF proposals. The SEC’s deferral could be an indication of how it will handle other pending Bitcoin ETF applications.
The SEC’s delay on the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF was earlier than industry analysts expected. It had until November 11, 2023, to make a decision. The ETF’s approval is contingent on Cboe BZX’s proposed rule change, which was submitted in April 2023 but published for comment in May. The SEC designated a longer approval period in June, extending the deadline for its decision. This delay, along with delays on other Bitcoin ETF applications, could provide insights into how the SEC will approach similar proposals in the future.
ARK Invest CEO and CIO Cathie Wood predicted in August that a delay from the SEC was likely but expressed confidence that multiple funds would eventually be approved. Additionally, the SEC has also postponed its decision on GlobalX’s Bitcoin ETF, which is unrelated to the ARK 21Shares ETF. The SEC must approve or disapprove GlobalX’s ETF, or initiate proceedings, by November 21, 2023. U.S. lawmakers have urged the SEC to approve a Bitcoin ETF, while the price of Bitcoin remained stable at $26,150 at the time of this news article.