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BBG Presents a Rough List of Bitcoin ETF Approval Deadlines

The U.S. SEC is under pressure to approve Bitcoin spot ETFs, with ARK’s application leading the way and a potential shift in the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrency ETFs.

Key Points

  • SEC under pressure to decide on Bitcoin spot ETFs, first approval expected in August, signaling a potential shift in stance.
  • ARK 21shares Bitcoin ETF likely first in line for approval or denial, response deadline August 8, possible delay.
  • Other applicants filed, including Bitwise, BlackRock, Fidelity, WisdomTree, VanEck, Invesco, and Valkyrie; SEC has 45 days for each decision, up to 240 days for delay.
  • ARK’s approval important; outcome may impact other applications; denial for one ETF may lead to denials for others; order of applications less significant, collective decision possible.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is under pressure to make a decision on several Bitcoin spot ETF applications that are awaiting approval. Analysts estimate that the first application could be approved as early as August, signaling a potential shift in the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrency ETFs.

ARK 21shares Bitcoin ETF Leading the Way

The ARK 21shares Bitcoin ETF, which has been previously denied by the SEC, is expected to be the first in line among the new wave of applicants to receive an approval or denial. The SEC’s first response deadline for ARK is August 8, although there is a possibility of a delay.

Other ETF applicants, including Bitwise, BlackRock, Fidelity, WisdomTree, VanEck, Invesco, and Valkyrie, have recently filed their applications with the US Federal Register, marking the beginning of the SEC’s formal review process. The SEC has 45 days to approve, deny, or delay each application, with delays allowed for up to 240 days.

ARK’s Application Deemed Crucial

Given that ARK filed its application relatively early, it is considered to be the most important one to watch. The final deadline for approval of ARK’s ETF is January 10, 2024. Bloomberg suggests that the outcome of this application may set the tone for other applications.

If the SEC denies one ETF application, it is likely to lead to the denial of others as well. All ETF applicants, following BlackRock’s filing in June, have proposed similar products and have committed to forming surveillance-sharing agreements with Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US. The order of the applications is considered less important, as the SEC can make a collective decision to approve or deny all of them.