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SEC extends the deadlines for ARK 21Shares and VanEck’s applications for spot ether ETFs

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opted to extend its evaluation period for the approval or disapproval of spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications from ARK 21Shares and VanEck. This decision was announced on September 26th.

In two separate notices filed on September 27th, the SEC articulated its intention to allocate additional time to deliberate upon a proposed rule modification. This modification pertains to permitting the listing of spot ETH ETFs from VanEck and ARK 21Shares on the Cboe BZX Exchange. Notably, there have been no public comments received regarding these proposals. Consequently, the SEC has extended the deadlines for a further review or verdict until December 25th and December 26th, respectively.

“The Commission deems it prudent to establish an extended timeframe for the consideration of the proposed rule change and the issues it raises,” affirmed the SEC.

This postponement coincided with the submission of a proposed rule amendment by the Nasdaq Stock Market to the SEC. The proposed amendment pertains to the inclusion of a mixed ETH ETF, combining spot Ether holdings and futures contracts. Furthermore, on September 27th, proposed rule changes were submitted to the New York Stock Exchange Arca for the Grayscale Ethereum Futures Trust, to the Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF, and to the Cboe BZX Exchange for the Franklin Bitcoin ETF.

It is noteworthy that the SEC’s decision to prolong its evaluation period for spot Bitcoin ETF applications from ARK 21Shares and Global X was made well in advance of the impending deadlines for both investment vehicles. Consequently, the final decision on ARK 21Shares’ ETF will be deferred until January.

In August, Cathie Wood, the founder and CEO of ARK Investment Management, speculated that if the SEC proceeds with the approval of spot ETFs, it could facilitate multiple concurrent listings to ensure a level playing field among market participants. It’s worth noting that her comments were made before Grayscale Investments secured a legal victory over the SEC regarding its spot Bitcoin ETF application, which is now slated for review.

To date, the SEC has never granted approval for a spot crypto ETF in the United States. Nevertheless, it has sanctioned the listing of crypto-linked futures ETFs and a leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF. The upcoming deadlines for spot crypto ETF applications, including those from firms like BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Valkyrie, Bitwise, and Fidelity, are scheduled for October.

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