The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again delayed its response to spot bitcoin ETF listing applications for Ark/21 Shares and Global X.
The decision comes as Congress struggles with budget negotiations, with federal agencies preparing for the worst.
SEC Extends Deadlines Again
Ark/21 Shares and Global X will have to wait a little longer to get their spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) approved by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. This is because the agency moved to extend deadlines further on Tuesday, leaving the applicants wondering if their applications would be rejected or approved. Global X’s ETF application was due a response on the 7th of October after it joined the ETF race later than its competitors. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission also delayed approvals for the Ark/21 Shares ETF, which was not due until the 11th of November.
This date marks the final deadline by which the agency must either approve or deny Ark’s spot bitcoin ETF application. The SEC had previously delayed Ark’s spot Bitcoin application in August. This followed several other delays of applications from rival firms that were due a response in early September. The most prominent among the applicants is BlackRock, whose deadline is scheduled for the 17th of October. However, it won’t be surprising if this is delayed again. In its filing, the Securities and Exchange Commission stated that it finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action. This would give it enough time to come to a decision.
SEC Discriminating Against Spot Bitcoin ETFs
The latest delay from the Securities and Exchange Commission comes after a group of pro-crypto Congressmen, including Ritchie Torres and Tom Emmer, sent a letter to the SEC Chair Gary Gensler, demanding he stop discriminating against spot bitcoin exchange-traded products.
Grayscale won a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month, arguing that the agency was being “arbitrary and capricious” in denying the firm’s spot ETF and the approvals of futures ETFs. Grayscale’s victory left investors eagerly anticipating the SEC’s next move in response to the loss. They speculated that the SEC would either approve a spot ETF or appeal the court’s decision. James Seyffart, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, stated that the delays may have put the hammer down on expectations that such a product would be approved by the end of the year.
Delays Come Against Backdrop Of Looming Govt Shutdown
The delays come against a looming government shutdown as Congress struggles with budget negotiations and federal agencies preparing for the worst. The Securities and Exchange Commission has consistently rejected spot bitcoin ETF products, citing potential market manipulation and inadequate investor protections. However, in its decision during the Grayscale hearing, the court ruled that the agency must reconsider its position.
However, these deadlines were also expected as the SEC has typically taken the full 240 days to reach a final decision. However, with the shutdown looming, the agency pushed its decision to Tuesday. In most cases, the SEC waits up to a few days prior to the deadline. In 2019, during the last shutdown, the agency had asked an applicant to withdraw its application entirely.