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New tickers and ARK filing shows Bitcoin futures ETF approval imminent


15 Oct 2021

#Bitcoin

According to Bloomberg Senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas there are “good signs” that the SEC will approve Bitcoin futures ETF applications from Ark Invest and Valkyrie. Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst says there are “good” signs that a Bitcoin ETF will soon be approved, pointing to Ark Invest filing for a Bitcoin futures ETF with an assigned ticker and Valkyrie updating its own ETF prospectus with a ticker.

Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management LLC filed for a Bitcoin (BTC) futures ETF under the ARKA ticker, while Valkyrie has assigned its BTC futures prospectus with the BTF ticker.

According to Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas, firms typically update their proposals when they have everything set and “ready for launch,” suggesting that Valkyrie may soon be given the green light by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Balchunas also pointed to Ark Invests’ Bitcoin futures ETF application on Oct. 13 in partnership with 21Shares and whiteAlpha Architect white label, noting that the assigned ARKA ticker was “another good sign” that the SEC was set to give a tick. Referring to Valkyrie's ETF, the analyst added that he looks for “these type” of updated prospectus filings when determining whether an official SEC greenlight is incoming, and said that applicants often update the final details “right before” launch. He conceded that with the crypto sector, nothing is certain however.

Permabear Mr Whale downplayed the significance of the Ark Invest news saying all Ark did was update its “ARKW ETF prospectus” to say that it may gain exposure to BTC via exchange-traded funds in Canada.

However Ark’s latest ETF filing with the SEC has no mention of the word “Canada” and the application clearly outlines that the fund is seeking to invest in “exchange-traded Bitcoin futures contracts that are cash-settled in U.S. dollars” on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). The price of BTC has surged 28% since the start of October to sit at around $57,500 at the time of writing. Many onlookers have attributed the recent pump to expectations that the SEC will soon approve a futures-based Bitcoin ETF.

Balchunas stated earlier this month that Bitcoin futures-backed ETFs have a high chance of being approved in October. He argued that they are regulated under the “40 Act” which is favored by the SEC as it offers greater consumer protections than physically-backed Bitcoin ETFs regulated under the “33 Act.” “Yes, the SEC has kicked can on Bitcoin ETF approval BUT that is for the physically-backed ones under '33 Act,” he said and added: “The futures ETFs filed under the '40 Act (which Genz loves) are very much alive and likely on schedule (we think 75% chance approved in Oct).”

Opinions vary however and Todd Rosenbluth, senior director of ETFs and mutual fund research at research firm CFRA argued this week he believes that approval of a BTC futures ETF may be delayed until 2022. Speaking on CNBC’s ETF Edge, Rosenbluth stated that the current clouded regulatory landscape could cause further delays and that the SEC could be waiting to approve all the ETFs simultaneously to avoid a “first-mover advantage.”

“It’s possible — in fact, we think it’s likely — that we’re going to see a delay of a Bitcoin futures ETF until 2022 until the regulatory environment is more clear,” he said.


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