ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood expects delayed Bitcoin ETF decision, but predicts multiple approvals afterwards
The SEC likely will not decide whether to approve ARK's application this week.
Wood stated during an interview with Bloomberg:
“I think the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission], if it’s going to approve a Bitcoin ETF, will approve more than one at once….most of these essentially will be the same, and it will come down to marketing [and] communicating the message.”
Before Wood’s response, Bloomberg interviewers suggested that the SEC could put all ETFs on a “common clock” and place all ETF applications on the same level.
Typically, the SEC would decide on each application based on the order of filing, but the current situation features numerous similar applications.
ARK filed its application for a spot Bitcoin ETF on May 15. Later, BlackRock filed a more prominent application on June 15, which led several other firms to file applications. ARK then updated its own filing at the end of June to add a surveillance-sharing agreement with Coinbase in line with those other applications.
Others have advocated for simultaneous Bitcoin ETF approvals based on fairness rather than similarities between applications. Grayscale, which is unique in that it aims to convert its existing GBTC fund to an ETF, argues that the SEC should not give any firm an unfair advantage or pick winners and losers by approving specific applications first.
Wood noted that ARK was an early investor in Grayscale’s GBTC fund but could not state whether the company would sell its GBTC holdings if that ETF conversion occurred.
Also during the interview, Wood described U.S. legislators’ attempts to challenge the SEC as a reason for optimism toward pending ETF proposals.
Decision by Aug. 13 is unlikely
Based on current deadlines, the SEC must approve or reject ARK’s application by Aug. 13. However, Bloomberg interviewers and Wood both said a delay is likely. Wood specifically stated that it is likely that the deadline will “come and go” without event.
Separate reports from CNBC suggest that the SEC can delay deadlines for 240 days. That means the SEC could postpone a decision on ARK’s application until January 2024 and delay decisions regarding other spot Bitcoin ETFs until March 2024.
The SEC has rejected all spot Bitcoin ETFs proposed, including previous applications from ARK and its partner 21Shares. The agency rejected one of ARK’s applications in January 2023 and rejected another in April 2022.