ARK Invest and 21Shares jointly apply for ether and bitcoin futures ETFs

Quick Take

  • ARK Invest and 21Shares have jointly applied for two ETFs involving ether and bitcoin futures.
  • The ETFs provide exposure to the assets without direct investment in the cryptocurrencies.

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest and 21Shares have jointly applied for two futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) products involving ether (ETH) and bitcoin (BTC), joining the growing list of firms looking to launch similar products.

The application was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the investment advisor for the products, Empowered Funds, on Thursday. The submission introduces two ETFs: the ARK 21Shares Active Ethereum Futures ETF (ARKZ) and the ARK 21Shares Active Bitcoin Ethereum Strategy ETF (ARKY).

The ETFs will not directly invest in the digital assets or spot products. Instead, they will focus on cash-settled futures contracts traded on commodity exchanges registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

The filing stated that ARKZ will invest at least 25% in ether futures products, relating to the ETH cryptocurrency, with the fund’s remaining investments allocated to U.S. Treasuries, money market instruments, and repurchase agreements.

Similarly, ARKY will invest at least 25% in ether as well as bitcoin futures products combined, allocating its remaining assets to cash and cash equivalents, primarily U.S. government securities, according to the filing.

Ether futures become latest crypto ETF trend

Several firms filed for ether futures exchange-traded funds this month, including applications from Bitwise, Proshares, Grayscale and Valkyrie. While the SEC has yet to approve the applications, the agency is said to be reportedly ready to greenlight these ether-related ETFs.

Ark Invest and 21Shares originally collaborated on a spot bitcoin ETF product application in 2021. The Cboe re-filed the application in April this year, before amending it in June to include a similar surveillance sharing agreement feature used in BlackRock’s spot bitcoin ETF filing that month. The firms are also awaiting a decision on three bitcoin-futures-related funds.

Ark Invest and 21Shares’ spot bitcoin ETF application was delayed on Aug. 11. The next deadlines for the SEC’s decision to approve, reject or delay applications from BlackRock, Bitwise, VanEck, WisdomTree, Invesco, Fidelity and Valkyrie fall from Sept. 1 to Sept. 4.

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