SEC punts on ARK 21Shares spot Bitcoin ETF, opens proposal to comments

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed a decision on approving or disapproving the spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund proposed by ARK Investment Management.

In an Aug. 11 notice, the SEC opened a 21-day comment period for the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF to the public following publication in the Federal Register, the latest delay for the regulator determining whether to approve or disapprove of a spot crypto ETF in the United States. ARK originally filed to list the ETF in May, giving the SEC a maximum of 240 days — until January 2024 — to reach a final decision.

“The regulated market of significant size test does not require that the spot bitcoin market be regulated in order for the Commission to approve this proposal, and precedent makes clear that an underlying market for a spot commodity or currency being a regulated market would actually be an exception to the norm,” said the SEC.

ARK Investment Management is one of many firms in the U.S. applying to get a spot crypto ETF listed on a regulated exchange. BlackRock, the largest asset management firm in the world, notably sent in its own application in July. A number of firms also amended existing applications to include cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase as a surveillance-sharing partner following reports SEC officials could be more open to accepting an ETF under those conditions.

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.

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