The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a further delay in its decision on the Ark 21Shares Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), pushing the deadline to January 10, 2024. This extension to the maximum deadline comes after the SEC had already used a 180-day extension window, which expired on November 11. The SEC’s decision holds significant implications for the potential listing of Bitcoin ETF products on the stock exchange.
Details of the Delay:
The proposed rule change, aimed at approving a Bitcoin ETF on the Cboe BZX Exchange, has been under consideration since May 15. As part of the regulatory process, the SEC had the option to extend the decision deadline by an additional 60 days, and they have chosen to exercise this option. The SEC stated in a recent court filing, “The Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act designates January 10, 2024, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 3.”
Despite this significant development, Bitcoin’s price remained relatively stable, with only a 1% decrease in the 24 hours following the announcement. At the time of this publication, Bitcoin’s price stands at $26,182.
A Long-Awaited Decision:
Ark Invest and 21 Shares had initially approached the SEC for approval of their Bitcoin ETF in 2021. Since then, the decision has been subject to repeated delays. Ark Invest’s CEO, Cathie Wood, had previously speculated that the SEC might wait to approve multiple ETF applications simultaneously, stating, “Because most of these will essentially be the same, it will come down to marketing, communicating, the message.”
The SEC’s decision on Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF is closely watched by the cryptocurrency industry and investors. It also has broader implications for other ETF applicants, including industry giants like BlackRock, VanEck, and Invesco, who are also awaiting SEC approval for their respective Bitcoin ETFs. The SEC has cited the need for extra time to review the proposed rule change in the cases of these applicants, contributing to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the regulation of cryptocurrency-based financial products in the United States.