SEC extends window to decide on ARK 21Shares spot Bitcoin ETF to August

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has pushed the deadline to approve or disapprove ARK 21Shares’ Bitcoin exchange-traded fund to August 30.

According to a Tuesday filing from the SEC, the regulatory body extended the deadline for approving or disapproving the ARK 21Shares spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETF from July 16 for an additional 45 days, to August 30. The application, originally filed with the SEC in May and published for comment in the Federal Register on June 1, included a proposed rule change from the Chicago Board Options Exchange BZX Exchange.

Ark Invest partnered with Europe-based ETF issuer 21Shares to file for a spot Bitcoin ETF listed on CBOE BZX Exchange in 2021, but the SEC rejected its application in April. Under current rules, the regulatory body is able to delay its decision and open the investment offering to public comment for up to 180 days, suggesting that the SEC could provide a final answer by January 2023.

In the notice of designation of a longer period, SEC Assistant Secretary J. Matthew DeLesDernier said it had chosen an extension to allow for “sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised therein.” The SEC has never approved an ETF with direct exposure to crypto but gave the green light to investment vehicles linked to BTC futures, including funds from Valkyrie and ProShares.

Related: Grayscale legal officer says Bitcoin ETF litigation could take two years

In June, when the SEC denied Grayscale’s application to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot BTC ETF, the investment manager filed a petition for courts to review the regulatory body’s decision. Grayscale senior legal strategist Donald Verrilli alleged in the filing that the SEC had acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” by “failing to apply consistent treatment to similar investment vehicles.”