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SEC faces ETF approval pressure, delays decision on proposals



The deadline for the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF proposal decision has been moved by the Securities and Exchange Commission to later date. The SEC has set a new deadline for January 10, 2024. 

The SEC announced this, stating that it requires additional time to issue an approval or disapproval order for this matter. “The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change,” it said Tuesday in a filing. 

Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 25, 2023, seeking approval to list and trade shares of the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ET. By law, the SEC is required to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposal within 180 days after initiating proceedings. However, in a situation where the commission considers a period extension it should not be more than 60 days adding the reasons for such.

The 180th day falls on November 11, 2023, and the extension to January 10 adds an additional 60 days. On this day the SEC shall either approve or disapprove the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF proposal.

The deadlines for other proposal decisions were also extended, including those for BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, WisdomTree, and Invesco, which have been postponed until October 17. Alongside the deadline for the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund was pushed until Oct. 19, Bitwise to Oct. 16.

This delay coincided with the deferral of the decision on the Bitcoin ETF offering from GlobalX on the same day. However, a group of four U.S. Representatives have filed a letter calling out SEC chair Gary Gensler to “immediately” approve a spot Bitcoin ETF. 

The letter filed by the lawmakers alleges that regulatory standards for approving ETFs related to crypto futures are inconsistent and discriminatory, particularly in the exclusion of spot investments.

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