ARK and 21Shares make another attempt at a bitcoin etf approval

ARK INvest and 21Shares are making another attempt to get their collaborative bitcoin exchange-traded fund through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Cboe BZX Exchange has filed a rule change proposal to list the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, putting the SEC on the clock for another decision.

Cboe filed the proposed rule change on May 13 of this year and the document was published to the federal register yesterday, meaning a decision or extension can be expected around July 9.

In the past, the SEC has issued multiple extensions for rule change proposals attached to spot bitcoin ETFs, with none ultimately getting a green light, including a previous iteration of the ARK 21Shares offering. The product was a joint submission with issuer 21Shares as the sponsor of the trust and ARK Investments leading the marketing of the shares. The SEC inked a rejection order for the product in April of this year.


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For now, the Commission is soliciting comments on the latest proposed rule change. 

SEC rejections have cited the lack of sufficient surveillance sharing agreements in a market of significant size for the underlying asset. However, the SEC has approved futures-based bitcoin ETF products, which some have argued undercuts the argument against spot products, since a futures product, though trading on an exchange with surveillance sharing agreements in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, is still priced on by the unregulated bitcoin spot market.

This latest Cboe rule proposal also makes that argument.

"...both the Exchange and the Sponsor believe that this proposal and the included analysis are sufficient to establish that the CME Bitcoin Futures market represents a regulated market of significant size as it relates both to the CME Bitcoin Futures market and to the spot bitcoin market and that this proposal should be approved," said the proposal.


About Author

Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.