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Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest moved to establish America’s first spot Ethereum ETF on Wednesday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Dubbed the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF, the application resembles those for spot Bitcoin ETFs that were recently delayed by the SEC. The regulator said last week that it needs more time to decide on several following Grayscale’s recent courtroom victory.
Ark Invest named Coinbase as a custodian in its application, meaning the crypto exchange would hold onto Ethereum that backing the shares of Ark Invest’s ETF. The ETF itself would be traded on the Cboe BZX Exchange.
The SEC has received multiple applications for futures-based Ethereum ETFs, but Ark Invest’s bid resembles a step beyond that, considering futures-based Bitcoin ETFs have traded in the U.S. since ProShares' launched on the New York Stock Exchange 2021.
Two years later, futures-based ETFs seem like a logical place for Ethereum to make its Wall Street debut. Anticipation has grown the SEC could approve a wave of Ethereum futures ETFs, which track the price of derivatives traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), as soon as October.
Weeks before the SEC’s recent spat of Bitcoin-related delays, Ark Invest’s application for a spot Bitcoin ETF was drawn out by the regulator too. ARK Invest first filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF in June 2021.
In terms of futures-based Ethereum ETFs, the SEC has told hopefuls to pull applications around a week after they’re filed, according the Bloomberg’s senior ETF analyst Eric Baclhunas. But this time around, they’ve stayed on the SEC’s desk.
On Wednesday, Baclhunas said in a Tweet that other companies are likely to follow in Ark Invest’s footsteps quite quickly. He said there are probably more applications coming if they aren’t already imminent.
When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently sided with Grayscale, it said the SEC’s previous denial of an application from Grayscale to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot ETF was “capricious.”
In the decision, the court said market manipulation concerns—which the SEC has cited repeatedly in swatting away applications since 2013—weren’t coherent enough, given the SEC has greenlit futures-based Bitcoin ETFs in the past.
In Ark Invest’s application on Wednesday, the firm proposes that the Cboe BZX Exchange’s ability to obtain information about activity in the CME’s Ethereum futures market should be sufficient to abate concerns previously articulated by the SEC.