The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again delayed approval for a set of Bitcoin spot ETF applications that have accumulated in its inbox.
One is GlobalX’s ETF application, for which a response was due from the agency on October 7 after the ETF provider joined the race later than competitors. However, it also delayed approval for the Ark/21Shares ETF, which wasn’t due until November 11.
“The Commission designates January 10, 2024, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change,” wrote the SEC in a Tuesday filing. This marks the absolute final deadline by which the agency must either approve or deny Ark’s application.
The SEC last delayed Ark’s application in August, followed by a slew of other delays on applications from rival firms that were due in early September. BlackRock—the most prominent among the competitors—has its next deadline slated for October 17, which may be delayed again.
The delay comes shortly after a group of crypto-supportive congressmen including Tom Emmer and Ritchie Torres sent a letter to SEC chair Gary Gensler demanding that he “not continue to discriminate against spot Bitcoin exchange-traded products.”
Last month, Grayscale won a lawsuit against the SEC when it argued that the agency was being “arbitrary and capricious” in its denial of the firm’s spot Bitcoin ETF alongside simultaneous approval of futures ETFs. The victory has left investors in eager anticipation of what the SEC will do in response: either approving a spot ETF, or appealing the court’s decision.
Either way, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart said Tuesday’s delays may have “put the hammer down” on hopes of such a product being approved by the end of the year.
“My base case is that we will get the ‘delays’ on the other filings tomorrow or sometime this week, and the SEC is simply getting ahead of a likely federal government shutdown,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
Bitwise—another member of the Bitcoin ETF race—filed an amendment to its application on Tuesday featuring new arguments against the SEC’s case for denying spot ETFs.