Hopes Of A Spot Bitcoin ETF Dashed As SEC Again Extends ARK Deadline To January

In a surprise move, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again delayed a set of deadlines in the pile of spot Bitcoin ETF applications awaiting responses.

The effort from GlobalX to list a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will now have to officially wait longer for the SEC to either approve, disapprove, or again defer its decision. The fund manager initially expected a response from the regulator on October 7 after joining the ETF race later than its competitors.

The SEC has also formally postponed its response to Ark/21Shares spot ETF, which wasn’t due until November 11.

“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,” the SEC said in a Tuesday filing. This is the absolute final deadline by which the regulator must either approve or deny Ark’s application.

The SEC last shelved Ark’s filing in August, followed by a string of other delays on applications from other ETF providers that were due in early September. BlackRock — the most recognized among the contenders — has its next deadline scheduled for October 17, which will likely be postponed again.

With the additional 60 days to determine the fate of ARK 21Shares’ product, the SEC’s final deadline will be January 10 — 240 days after the initial filing was made.

The Wall Street regulator is historically known to top out the required time to give decisions on spot Bitcoin ETF applications. The SEC choosing to postpone decisions on some applications weeks ahead of their interim deadlines could be a smart move on the part of the regulator as the federal government prepares for a potential shutdown.

No Hopes For A Spot Bitcoin ETF Being Approved This Year?

The Ark/21Shares ETF delay comes shortly after four pro-crypto congressmen urged SEC chair Gary Gensler to stop discriminating against spot Bitcoin ETF products.

Last month, Grayscale secured a win in the lawsuit against the SEC when it asserted that the regulator was being “arbitrary and capricious” in its refusal of the firm’s spot Bitcoin ETF while simultaneously approving futures-based ETFs. The victory prompted some pundits to predict that the SEC would now be forced to approve the listing of spot Bitcoin ETFs for US customers.

However, Bloomberg’s ETF analyst James Seyffart said Tuesday’s delays may have “put the hammer down” on hopes of such an investment product being approved before the end of this year.

“My base case is that we will get the ‘delays’ on the other filings tomorrow or sometime this week, and the SEC is simply getting ahead of a likely federal government shutdown,” he said in an X post on Tuesday.

Seyffart and his colleague Eric Balchunas had last month raised the odds of a spot Bitcoin ETF being approved this year to 75% and 95% by the end of 2024, after Grayscale’s legal win.

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