The Race for a Spot Bitcoin ETF Accelerates With Fidelity Filing

The Race for a Spot Bitcoin ETF Accelerates With Fidelity Filing

With the latest industry player joining the pack, the odds of SEC approval are improving.

Reviewed by: Lisa Barr
Edited by: Ron Day

As the race for securing the first spot bitcoin ETF approval is intensifying, the momentum is serving as a catalyst for industry players to refine their proposals, enhancing surveillance mechanisms and assuaging regulatory concerns. 

It wasn’t long ago—January of this year—that the SEC rejected for a second time a joint effort by ARK Investment Management and 21Shares to list a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The regulatory authority cited concerns about the failure of the Cboe BZX Exchange, where the ETF would be listed, to demonstrate compliance with fraud prevention and other critical requirements.  

The setback hasn’t dampened their determination. Cathy Wood's ARK Invest and 21Shares are currently leading the pack of the latest ETF filings in terms of the timing of their latest application.  

Spot Bitcoin Trading Operator 

The regulatory body has emphasized the need for robust measures to combat potential market manipulation, stressing that none of the applicants has yet proven their ability to safeguard investors effectively. In this regard, ARK's recent amendment incorporates a so-called surveillance-sharing agreement with a spot bitcoin trading operator to help address market manipulation concerns. 

The pursuit of a spot bitcoin ETF approval will likely continue to intensify, with asset manager Fidelity being the latest industry player to file its spot bitcoin ETF application yesterday. 

Hany Rashwan, CEO of, the parent company of 21Shares, expressed optimism about the evolving landscape. "The filings this past week make me even more bullish,” he tweeted last week. “We're committed to offering U.S. investors a safe regulated way to access this exciting asset class."  

These sentiments reflect a shared ambition and determination within the industry to do whatever it takes to navigate regulatory hurdles and provide investors with secure access to bitcoin through an ETF. 

The recent amendments to the applications and the expected entry of new contenders indicate the odds of approval are indeed improving, bringing the industry closer than ever to a breakthrough. 

Daria Solovieva is a former managing editor at Before joining, she worked as a financial journalist for leading publications all over the world, including Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and others.