Ark Invest, 21Shares join the rush to launch ether futures ETFs

The two firms — already pursuing a slew of other crypto funds — join the effort for yet-to-be approved products that hold ETH futures contracts


Zakharchuk/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Firms viewed by many as leading contenders in the bitcoin ETF race are also keen on launching funds associated with ether futures contracts.

Ark Invest and 21Shares are listed as sub-advisers on the proposed ARK 21Shares Active Ethereum Futures ETF (ARKZ) and the ARK 21Shares Active Bitcoin Ethereum Strategy ETF (ARKY), according to a Thursday filing. 

The fund adviser on both planned products is Empowered Funds, a subsidiary of white-label ETF platform Alpha Architect.

The document notes that ARKZ would invest at least 25% of its total assets in cash-settled ether futures contracts, such as those traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). It may also invest in US Treasury securities, money market instruments and repurchase agreements. 

ARKY would be similar, but would invest in both bitcoin futures and ether futures contracts, as well as its own planned ETFs that hold such contracts.  

The funds mirror similar filings launched by a range of issuers in recent weeks. Sources told Blockworks earlier this month that the Securities and Exchange Commission is now ready to consider approving ether futures ETFs. This comes after reports in May suggested the regulator had requested issuers to pause its efforts in introducing such products to the market.

Read more: SEC now ready to consider ETH futures ETFs, sources say — but what’s changed?

Ark Invest and 21Shares first partnered to launch a spot bitcoin ETF in 2021. The SEC blocked its first two attempts and is currently reviewing the companies’ latest proposal. 

The firms most recently re-filed for such a product in April — two months before BlackRock revealed plans to try to launch a bitcoin ETF, spurring other fund issuers to jump back into the race. 

The SEC said on Aug. 11 that it would “institute proceedings” to determine whether it should approve or deny the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF.

After the SEC delayed its decision on the spot bitcoin ETF proposal, Ark Invest and 21Shares shared plans to try to launch three types of bitcoin futures ETFs, including one that would also invest in crypto- and blockchain-related equities.

Empowered Funds was also listed as the adviser of that planned product trio.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Aerodrome is a "MetaDEX" that combines elements of various DEX primitives such as Uniswap V2 and V3, Curve, Convex, and Votium. Since its launch on Base, it has become the largest protocol by TVL with more than $495M in value locked, doubling Uniswap's Base deployment.


The SEC has signaled a timeline to issuers that could lead to a July 23 launch for the ETH funds, people close to the process told Blockworks


PayPal has unequivocally made a name for itself as a crypto adopter among fintech giants


Also, a look into how the highly-debated SAB 121 could end up shaking out for crypto custodians


Vance, an Ohio Republican, is largely seen as crypto-friendly


Plus, all the world is green as prices across the crypto space rally, with solana reaching a nearly two-week high


Investors add to crypto positions after “turnaround in sentiment due to lower-than-expected CPI,” CoinShares research head says