In a move that comes as little surprise to those familiar with the regulatory landscape surrounding the fledgling crypto industry, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again denied an application from Ark Investment Management and 21Shares to list a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the Cboe BZX Exchange.
This marks the second time that the much-feared regulator has shot down the proposal, with a similar effort being previously rejected in April.
Undeterred, the duo submitted a new application last May, but the agency has once again cited concerns over fraud and manipulation as the primary reasons for its decision.
The SEC highlighted that BZX had failed to demonstrate that its proposal was consistent with the requirements surrounding the prevention of malevolent practices.The agency's decision is based on its belief that the Bitcoin market is still susceptible to fraud and manipulation, and that a comprehensive surveillance-sharing agreement with a regulated market of significant size is needed in order to detect and deter such practices.
The SEC argues that BZX has failed to address risk factors that are specific to Bitcoin.
It remains to be seen whether Ark and 21Shares will make another attempt to list a spot bitcoin ETF, but in the current regulatory climate, it seems unlikely that the SEC will change its stance on the matter anytime soon.