Ark & 21Shares File for Bitcoin ETF

While many were hopeful that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler would take a more favorable approach to crypto, little seems to have changed since he started the role in April.

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Cathie Wood, CEO and chief investment officer, ARK Invest

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key takeaways

  • The ETF, if approved, will trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange and will track the price of bitcoin using the S&P Bitcoin Index, according to the filing.
  • The filing comes as Ark starts to reverse a rocky few months.

Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management in partnership with Switzerland-based 21Shares filed for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) Monday, the long line of firms seeking Securities and Exchange Commision approval. 

The ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB), if approved, will trade on the Cboe BZX Exchange and will track the price of bitcoin using the S&P Bitcoin Index, according to the filing

“ARK pursuing a bitcoin ETF makes sense on multiple levels,” said Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store. “They currently have a sizeable allocation to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) within the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW).  A bitcoin ETF would allow them to avoid paying fees on that position or any other future bitcoin investment vehicles they might consider.”

Wood, a long time crypto bull, has remained unphased by the largest digital asset’s recent selloff. She said that bitcoin is “on sale right now,” but has not necessarily reached its bottom, during a recent interview on Bloomberg TV. Wood still anticipates bitcoin reaching $500,000, even after the Elon Musk-tweet induced frenzy. 

“We go through soul searching times like this and scrape the models, and yes our conviction is just as high,” Wood said during the interview. “Elon will come back and be part of that ecosystem.”

Fidelity, VanEck, Skybridge and Galaxy Digital have all submitted similar filings in recent months. The SEC delayed its decision on whether or not to approve VanEck’s filing earlier this month and requested further comment from interested parties about how a bitcoin ETF would impact the broader market. 

The filing comes as Ark starts to reverse a rocky few months. The Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK), has resumed inflows and gained 26% since its May low. Wood’s other products are also on the rise. The ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (ARKQ) is up 12.5% year-to-date, and the ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF) has gained 8% this year.

While many were hopeful that SEC Chairman Gary Gensler would take a more favorable approach to crypto, little seems to have changed since he started the role in April. 

The SEC has consistently blocked all cryptocurrency ETF applications, citing issues with security and pricing, which can be difficult given the 24/7 trading cycle of digital assets and their overall volatile nature. Still, firms have not stopped submitting applications. This year alone, Fidelity filed for the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, Goldman Sachs submitted forms for a cryptocurrency-tied product and Grayscale emphasized their commitment to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF as soon as possible.

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