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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is nearing a critical crossroads concerning ARK's application for a spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). With the August 13 deadline on the horizon, the financial world watches closely for the SEC's decisive verdict.
Potential Delay Until 2024
ARK Invest’s official Bitcoin ETF submission on May 15 kicked off the SEC's countdown clock. It was followed by another filing on June 15 which preset the deadline as August 15, by which the SEC must express its approval or disapproval.
However, the SEC can prolong the waiting game by 240 days, pushing the final response to January 10, 2024, for ARK Invest’s proposal and March 2024 for other applicants.
Speaking on the topic, ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood noted that there is a high probability of the SEC delaying the matter further.
When asked about the August deadline, Wood said,
"I think you're probably right that Aug. 13 will come and go. I think the SEC, if it's going to approve a bitcoin ETF, will approve more than one at once."
A Crowded Field of Aspirants
ARK isn't alone in its quest for a spot Bitcoin ETF. Numerous organizations, including Bitwise, BlackRock, VanEck, WisdomTree, Valkyrie, First Trust Galaxy, and Fidelity Wise Origin, have entered the Bitcoin ETF fray. Grayscale also seeks to convert its Bitcoin Trust into an ETF. If the SEC greenlights any one of these applications, the call for fair and equal approvals among the other applicants will gain extra momentum.
This wave of applications stands apart due to a "surveillance sharing" pact with exchanges like Nasdaq and Cboe. The agreement's goal is to exchange market trading data, customer ID info, and clearing activity details. This move aims to curb market manipulation risks and protect investor funds against unauthorized use, addressing previous SEC concerns.
SEC's Reserved Move - The Waiting Game
Observers speculate that the SEC won't budge unless compelled. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust's lawsuit serves as inspiration on how to tackle the agency and its unbudging stance on ETFs. The court case has prompted the SEC to clarify its stance, highlighting its approval of Bitcoin futures agreements with similar monitoring provisions. This legal tussle may lead to a more transparent decision-making process.
While optimism grows in the crypto community, doubts remain about the SEC's approval of a Spot Bitcoin ETF. Critics recall the SEC's decade-long streak of rejecting such applications. Nevertheless, the approval of a leveraged Bitcoin ETF and a surge in Ethereum futures ETF applications hint at a shifting regulatory environment. Bloomberg Intelligence gives a 65% chance for approval, considering the Grayscale lawsuit and potential political influences.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.