SEC Delays Decision on Bitcoin ETF Approval to 2024

Last Updated September 28th 2023
4 Min Read

Key Takeaways -

  • The SEC has postponed its decision on the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF to January 10, 2024.
  • Global X's Bitcoin ETF application also faces a delay, with a decision deadline set for November 21.
  • Expert analyst James Seyffart suggests that the chances of any Bitcoin ETF approval this year are low.

If you've been keeping tabs on the cryptocurrency market, you're likely aware of the buzz surrounding Bitcoin ETFs. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently made a move, but it's not what most were hoping for. The SEC has decided to postpone its ruling on the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF until January 2024.

The Regulatory Landscape Explained

Operating under the framework of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the SEC has specific guidelines to follow. This act mandates a 180-day period during which the SEC must either approve or disapprove a proposed rule change related to financial instruments like ETFs. Additionally, the SEC has the option to extend this period by another 60 days if they find it necessary for a more thorough evaluation.

So, what's the reason for this delay? Simply put, the SEC has stated that they require more time to carefully evaluate the proposed rule change and fully understand its potential impact on the financial market.

Key Dates to Keep in Mind

Initially, the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF application was submitted on May 15. According to the original timeline, the SEC had a deadline of November 11 to make their decision. However, this deadline has now been extended, and the new date set for a decision is January 10, 2024.

Other Players: Spotlight on Global X's Application

It's not just ARK 21Shares that's in the spotlight. Global X is another key player that has submitted a Bitcoin ETF application. Filed in August, this application is the ninth of its kind related to spot-Bitcoin ETFs to be submitted this year. The SEC has self-imposed a deadline for this as well: they have committed to making a ruling on Global X's application by November 21.

What This Means for You and the Crypto Community

Here's a bit of good news amid the uncertainty: the SEC is not allowed to extend its decision beyond January 10, 2024. This sets a definitive and unchangeable timeline, offering a certain level of assurance to the crypto community that a decision will be made by that date.

Political Factors

Prior to this announcement, a group of four U.S. Representatives had made a strong push, urging SEC Chair Gary Gensler to grant immediate approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF. They backed their request by citing a recent court ruling that was in favor of Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust converting to a spot Bitcoin ETP.

Expert Opinions and Predictions

Expert Opinions and Predictions

James Seyffart, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, expressed his surprise at the SEC's rather early announcement to delay the decision. According to Seyffart's analysis, the likelihood of a Bitcoin ETF receiving approval within this year has significantly diminished. However, he also pointed out that the outcome of the ongoing court case involving Grayscale could potentially be a game-changing factor in future ETF approvals.

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