The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has granted itself an extended grace period of 60 days to deliberate upon the potential listing of ARK 21Shares’ investment instrument on the Cboe BZX Exchange, establishing a definitive deadline of January 10. In an announcement dated September 26, the SEC disclosed its intention to allocate an extended timeframe to evaluate and render a verdict on a proposed alteration to regulations, which would facilitate the introduction of ARK 21Shares’ spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) onto the Cboe BZX Exchange. The prior deferment, initiated on August 11, afforded the regulatory body until November 11 to reach a determination regarding approval, disapproval, or further postponement. “The Commission deems it judicious to allocate an extended duration for the issuance of a decision affirming or negating the proposed regulatory modification. This extension ensures ample contemplation of the proposed alteration and the concomitant concerns,” articulated the SEC. Concurrently, the SEC deferred the decision on the Bitcoin ETF offered by fund manager GlobalX on the same day. The rationale behind the Commission’s decision to extend deliberation periods, well in advance of the impending deadlines in October and November, remains unclear. Historically, the regulator has habitually exercised this prerogative mere days before a deadline’s expiration. With the inclusion of an extra 60-day period for assessing ARK 21Shares’ proposal, the SEC’s ultimate cutoff date for ARK 21Shares will be January 10 — an extension of 240 days since the initial application submission. The subsequent deadline for GlobalX’s ETF is slated for November 21. This filing was prompted by a letter from a coalition of four U.S. Representatives, urgently urging SEC Chair Gary Gensler to promptly sanction a spot Bitcoin ETF. The lawmakers contended that the SEC’s approval processes displayed “inconsistent and prejudicial criteria,” favoring ETFs associated with cryptocurrency futures over spot investment vehicles. As of the current publication, the forthcoming deadlines for spot crypto ETF applications from seven major firms — BlackRock, WisdomTree, Invesco Galaxy, Valkyrie, Bitwise, VanEck, and Fidelity — remain calendared for October. The SEC retains the prerogative to extend or postpone these deadlines until March.
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