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ARK Invest Files Application for Physical Bitcoin ETF

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • ARK Investments filed the application for a physical bitcoin ETF, which would offer exposure to bitcoin prices in the spot market.
  • The SEC has yet to approve a physical bitcoin ETF.
  • Other countries are more open to bitcoin ETFs, but the U.S. is unlikely to see a spot ETF approved soon.
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ARK Invest has submitted an application for a physical bitcoin exchange-traded fund (EFT) to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is not the first physical bitcoin ETF to reach the SEC’s table, with previous applications by other firms having been rejected.

ARK Investments has submitted another application for a physical bitcoin ETF, according to an SEC filing. The ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF offers exposure to the price of bitcoin in the spot markets – and no physical bitcoin ETFs have been approved yet by the SEC.

Second time lucky for ARK?

This is not the first ETF that ARK has filed, having seen a spot bitcoin ETF rejected by the SEC earlier in the year. That rejection was expected, as the SEC has been adamant about better investor protection measures before approving a spot ETF. Clearly, ARK Investments is hoping that they will have better luck this time around.

It will come as a surprise if the SEC approves this ETF given the reluctance it has shown in the past. Futures ETFs have had much more luck, and many have launched to much fanfare. ARK itself will be hoping that this ETF could kickstart what has been a tough 2022 for the firm.

Physical bitcoin investment products have been approved in other countries. Fidelity International has recently launched a physical bitcoin ETP in Zurich.

Bitcoin ETFs that have launched so far were lauded when they first arrived, but since then, there has been a decline in enthusiasm surrounding the instrument. Investors however are eager for a spot ETF, but it remains uncertain whether that will happen anytime soon.

Will 2022 see a spot bitcoin ETF approved?

Many companies, especially Grayscale Investments, are fighting for a spot bitcoin ETF to be approved. There are some signs that more discussion on this could happen this year, though perhaps not an approval. The SEC is not budging on its demands for better investor protection, which hopefully the market and lawmakers can together design.

With the amount of attention turning to the crypto market, not to mention regulatory scrutiny, some analysts are hopeful that a spot ETF approval might arrive in 2022. A number of major firms have filed applications.

Other countries are a little more open to approving ETFs. Australia has seen a few get the green light, and so has Canada. It could be at least a year before the U.S. to approves a spot ETF, but with any luck, it could be sooner.


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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance...