ARK Sells GBTC Before Spot Bitcoin Decision

The SEC faces a Jan. 10 deadline to approve Ark’s “spotcoin.”

LucyBrewster310x310
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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Ron Day

Ark Invest, the asset management firm led by Cathie Wood, sold about two million shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) Wednesday as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s final deadline to approve or deny Ark’s spot bitcoin ETF approaches in mid-January.  

A bitcoin ETF issuer hopeful, Ark traded its GBTC holdings for roughly $92 million worth of shares of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO). The Ark Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) sold shares of GBTC and purchased BITO in anticipation for a novel spot bitcoin ETF approval.  

Wood said on Bloomberg TV Thursday that the trade was made because an already approved ETF is a safer bet than an ETF conversion yet to happen. “There’s no regulatory uncertainty having to do with [BITO], so we chose to maintain our exposure through BITO for the time being,” Wood said.  

Spot Bitcoin ETF Race 

The SEC has a Jan. 10 deadline to approve or deny Ark’s spot bitcoin ETF, yet many issuers project that the regulator will approve multiple of the dozen ETF applications at once if they do approve Ark’s. While the agency currently allows funds that track cryptocurrency futures, the regulatory body has so far declined to allow ETFs own bitcoin.  

Yet the agency lost a watershed lawsuit brought by Grayscale in August when a U.S. appeals court ruled that the SEC was wrong to block the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust from converting into an ETF. This forced the SEC to work with prospective issuers to refine their applications.  

“We don’t know exactly who’s going to be approved and whether they’ve met all the criteria that the SEC put before us,” said Wood on Bloomberg TV. “We know that we have, but we don’t know if others including GBTC have,” she added.  

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].  

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.