Third time’s the charm? ARK and 21Shares again file with SEC for Bitcoin ETF


Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest and European crypto investment firm 21Shares are seemingly unperturbed by the cryptocurrency regulatory environment in the United States, again requesting approval for a Bitcoin (BTC)-based financial product.

On April 25, the two companies requested that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approve the creation of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) despite being rejected twice before.

The two companies first applied to create their spot Bitcoin ETF on June 28, 2021, which was later rejected by the SEC in April 2022. The regulator said the product did not meet the requirements of listing a financial product under its rules of practice as well as those of the Exchange Act.

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The pair filed another request for a second time in May 2022, an application the SEC rejected again on Jan. 26 this year.

An ETF allows investors exposure to a particular asset without actually owning the underlying financial product. A spot Bitcoin ETF allows investors to gain indirect exposure to the cryptocurrency with shares that track BTC’s price in real-time without actually holding Bitcoin.

While the SEC has approved a number of Bitcoin Futures ETFs — that expose buyers to the potential future value of BTC — it has so far rejected every application for a spot Bitcoin ETF citing difficulties with “protecting investors and the public interest” against fraud and manipulation.

According to ETF analysts from Bloomberg, it seems likely that a spot Bitcoin ETF could become a reality in the U.S. midway through this year.

Crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG) is currently seeking to convert its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF and has sued the SEC for rejecting its proposal.

Grayscale chief legal officer Craig Salm said in a tweet on Jan. 12, “The case is moving swiftly. While timing is uncertain, oral arguments may be as soon as Q2 [2023].”

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