Ark Investment Management and 21Shares have filed to offer a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF), Bloomberg reported on Sept. 6.
The two companies submitted their application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the day of that report.
If the fund is approved, it will trade under the ticker ARKE. The fund would provide traditional investors with a way to invest in a fund that is physically backed by Ethereum (ETH) without the need to purchase or hold cryptocurrency itself directly. Furthermore, Ark’s spot Ethereum ETF would be the first of its type if it is successful.
Cathie Wood, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest, commented on the ambitious nature of the plan in light of the fact that no equivalent Bitcoin fund exists. She told Bloomberg:
“There’s been so much regulatory controversy about a Bitcoin spot ETF that I guess many people thought it was a step too far — but we don’t … And it’s always nice to be first.”
Meanwhile, Ophelia Snyder, co-founder and president of 21Shares, suggested that Grayscale’s victory against the SEC — which will see Grayscale press the agency to approve its GBTC ETF conversion — influenced the timing of its own application. Snyder added that Ethereum market fundamentals also spurred its application.
ETH application follows BTC attempts
Ark is additionally pursuing a Bitcoin spot ETF alongside its latest Ethereum application. Following an application from BlackRock in June, Ark and many other asset managers filed similar applications to offer a Bitcoin spot ETF.
Those applications are seen as promising due to BlackRock’s role as a financial giant and due to each filing’s inclusion of a Coinbase surveillance-sharing agreement.
Wood commented on the current situation in August. She correctly predicted that the SEC would delay a decision around the latest spot Bitcoin ETF applications; however, she said that she believes the SEC will eventually approve multiple applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF due to the fact that most current applications are similar.
Despite widespread optimism, no spot Bitcoin or spot Ethereum ETF has been approved to date. In fact, Ark’s own Bitcoin ETF applications are among those previously declined by the SEC. The firm faced its latest rejection in January 2023.
Ark also has other ETF applications underway, including one fund tied to Bitcoin and Ether futures. The SEC has previously approved Bitcoin futures ETFs.
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