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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly found recent applications for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to lack clarity and completeness, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A number of companies have recently applied for spot Bitcoin ETFs, such as Invesco, Wisdom Tree, and BlackRock, among others.
The SEC has communicated to Nasdaq and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) that their filings, which represent the interests of various asset managers, are not "sufficiently clear and complete", according to the Wall Street Journal. The comments indicate that the companies should have specified where Bitcoin ETF would enter into a "monitoring sharing agreement", or at least provide adequate information on the details of such agreements.
However, the SEC's response is not a definitive rejection. Wealth managers have the opportunity to revise and resubmit their requests with the necessary clarifications.
This move by BlackRock prompted ARK Invest and 21Shares to revise their third spot Bitcoin ETF application to include a similar agreement. Other companies that have followed suit by amending or refiling their applications include Invesco, WisdomTree, Valkyrie and Fidelity. ARK Invest is currently considered one of the main contenders in this endeavor, as the company fixed its candidacy and submitted an application before others had a chance to change:
JUST IN: ARK amended its 19b-4 ETF for spot bitcoin to include a bt CBOE oversight sharing agreement and a crypto exchange (likely Coinbase), making them now like BlackRock's depository, and puts them in pole position to be approved first bc they filed first. pic.twitter.com/P8PCmPdhln
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) June 28, 2023
It should be noted that the SEC has been rejecting applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs since 2017.
Grayscale's Bitcoin ETF spot was turned down in 2022 despite the company doing everything in its power to get it approved. Grayscale sued the SEC when the commissioner dismissed the ETF, with US courts beginning to probe the SEC in March 2023, over its seemingly unexplained decision:
"The SEC has provided no explanation."