- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has deferred the ARK Invest 21Shares spot Bitcoin ETF filing, casting doubt on the likelihood of a spot ETF approval within 2023.
- In the wake of this postponement, eyes are now trained on Blackrock and other key players, with their decisions looming on the mid-October horizon.
On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, the financial realm witnessed a momentary standstill as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) resolved to delay the decision on the ARK Invest 21Shares spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) filing. This move could significantly tighten the scope for a spot ETF endorsement within this year, signaling a cautious, perhaps conservative stance by the regulatory body.
A Ripple Effect on the ETF Landscape?
Following this delay, the SEC disclosed its intention for an extended timeframe to scrutinize the proposed rule change. Initially slated for a ruling by November 11, 2023, this early postponement has arrived just on the eve of SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s examination before the Financial Services Committee on September 27, 2023. The SEC’s stance was delineated in a notice, articulating a lengthened period for Commission Action on Proceedings to further delve into the approval or disapproval of the proposed rule alteration.
This pause by the SEC sends ripples across the financial terrain, with Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart surmising a potential damper on any ETF approvals for 2023. As the regulatory clock ticks, the investment sphere is abuzz with speculation, particularly as decisions on filings by BlackRock, Bitwise, and Wisdomtree, among others, loom large in the third week of October 2023.
The conjecture further intensifies, with Seyffart musing,
“If they went on Ark/21 shares already, we may see delays on all the other filings today too? BlackRock, Bitwise, VanEck, Invesco, Wisdomtree, Fidelity, and Valkyrie are all due in mid-October.”
Adding to the robust lineup of financial behemoths in the ring, Franklin Templeton emerged on the scene on September 12, 2023, albeit without filing the critical 19b-4, a paramount stride in the approval ladder.
With the regulatory ambiance thick with anticipation and market stakeholders in a holding pattern, the prolonged deliberation by the SEC not only underscores the meticulous regulatory framework encapsulating digital assets but also sets a suspenseful stage for the forthcoming decisions by BlackRock and other pivotal market actors.