SEC postpones decision on Cathie Wood’s Bitcoin ETF

abdelaziz Fathi

The approval of a regulated crypto derivative is still looking far less likely, as the US regulators have once again deferred their decision on whether to approve any of the proposed Bitcoin ETFs.

The new deadline to review ARK Investment Management’s and 21 Shares’ Bitcoin ETF has been shifted from July 16 to next month. Per an official document published by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),  the agency needs more time to further review the proposed rule change from the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) BZX Exchange.

The regulatory body said in an extension notice that it would now give an answer on the proposal on August 30, the SEC disclosure indicates.

Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management and 21Shares amended its application back in May after the US Securities and Exchange Commission rejected their proposal for an ETF that would invest directly in bitcoin. As part of the changes, the Switzerland-based investment-products issuer said its product would use US Bank as a qualified custodian, hoping such a tweak will win its bitcoin exchange-traded fund application the SEC’s blessing.

A decision was expected no earlier than mid-July, 45 days from the time the applications for the funds were published in the federal register, but the SEC is yet to approve a single BTC exchange-traded fund. The latest deadline for approval or disapproval of the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF is January 24, 2023.

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and any comments received,” the SEC wrote in both notices.

There are a number of applications underway to get a bitcoin ETF listed, but so far none have been approved by the SEC. The agency only extended the deliberation window or opened the matter to public comments to avoid reaching any decision on a proposal, meaning today’s delay is no surprise.

Earlier, the regulator also pushed the deadline to make a decision on Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF, Global X Bitcoin Trust, Valkyrie XBTO Bitcoin Futures Fund, and Wisdomtree Bitcoin Trust. Most recently, it denied an application by First Trust Advisors and SkyBridge, citing concerns over “fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices” in markets where bitcoin is traded.

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