Amendment of the 21Shares Bitcoin ETF filing
The Cboe BZX Exchange has officially amended its 19b-4 filing for the proposed ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF. The update is to align the filing with recent proposals from BlackRock and secure approval. The changes now include a surveillance sharing agreement (SSA) with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures markets and a crypto exchange, likely Coinbase.
Third attempt at approval
After two failed attempts, 21Shares and Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management have again reapplied for a spot Bitcoin ETF. The Securities and Exchange Commission previously rejected the applications as they did not meet the necessary requirements for listing a financial product. Due to ARK’s filing in April, their review will precede BlackRock’s, potentially making ARK’s offering the first approved spot BTC ETF in the U.S.
Competition and possible approval
Several firms, including BlackRock, ARK, Fidelity, WisdomTree, Invesco, and Valkyrie Funds, have made spot Bitcoin ETF filings. Observers see a 50% chance of a spot BTC ETF approval, partially due to Grayscale’s ongoing case with the SEC over the rejection of its application to convert its flagship spot Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) to an ETF.
Obstacles in the way
There is a potential exclusivity agreement barrier between Coinbase and BlackRock. ARK would need to align with another crypto exchange if Coinbase partners exclusively with BlackRock. Coinbase’s large share of the U.S spot exchanges may limit the number of companies that can launch a spot BTC ETF. Furthermore, the SEC doesn’t define Coinbase as a regulated market, potentially a factor for rejection.
Speculations and outlook
There are assumptions that the BlackRock ETF application approval will come due to the inclusion of an SSA. However, the Surveillance Sharing Agreement (SSAs) is still under scrutiny, which could lead to further problems. Despite this, many see BlackRock’s filing as an opportunity to invest in low-priced Bitcoin before an expected price surge.