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Cathie Wood anticipates delayed Bitcoin ETF decision; foresees multiple approvals



Cathie Wood, the CEO and CIO of ARK Invest, discussed the possibility that the SEC might not meet the forthcoming deadline for approving several Bitcoin spot ETFs.

In a Bloomberg interview, Wood suggested that these ETFs could potentially be approved simultaneously by the SEC. The Bloomberg interviewers had earlier proposed that the  SEC would consider  the ETF applications on a “common clock,” treating all applications uniformly. Usually, the SEC would decide on each application based on the order of filing, but the current situation features numerous similar applications.

ARK initially submitted its spot Bitcoin ETF application on May 15. Following that, on June 15, BlackRock filed a weightier application prompting several other companies to take similar actions. However, ARK modified its filing in late June to align  with other applications by adding a surveillance-sharing agreement with Coinbase.

Interestingly, there have been advocacy for concurrent Bitcoin ETF approvals based on fairness, rather than the resemblance of applications.  Grayscale, notable for its intention  to convert the existing GBTC fund into an ETF, contends that the SEC should avoid favoritism and not prioritize specific applications.

During the interview, Wood mentioned that while ARK was an early investor in Grayscale’s GBTC fund, she couldn’t confirm whether ARK would divest their GBTC holdings if the ETF conversion happened. Furthermore, she viewed attempts by U.S. legislators to challenge the SEC as a reason for optimism regarding pending ETF proposals.

Based on the current deadline, the SEC is expected to decide  on ARK’s application by August 13. However, both Cathie Wood and Bloomberg interviewers foresee that a likely  postponement might occur. Wood explicitly stated that the deadline would likely pass without approval.

Meanwhile, separate CNBC reports suggest that the SEC possesses the authority to extend deadlines by up to 240 days. This implies that the SEC could postpone the decision on ARK’s application until January 2024 and defer decisions  on other spot Bitcoin ETF applications  until March 2024.

The SEC has previously declined all proposed spot Bitcoin ETFs, including prior applications from ARK and its partner, 21Shares. The regulatory agency rejected one of ARK’s applications in January 2023, and another was rejected in April 2022.

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