Sep 6, 2023 - Economy & Business

Ark Invest, 21Shares' spot ether ETF tests SEC

Illustration of the Ethereum logo popping out of a cocoon.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pair of asset managers in the pole position for a spot bitcoin ETF now want to launch one for ether, the second-largest digital asset behind just bitcoin.

Driving the news: Cathie Wood's Ark Invest and 21Shares filed to launch the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF on Wednesday, in a first test of the Securities and Exchange Commission's position on a spot ether investment fund.

Be smart: Ethers (ETH) are the coin of the realm on the Ethereum blockchain. All transactions cost ethers to make, so ethers become more valuable as using Ethereum becomes more popular.

The intrigue: There isn't even a spot bitcoin ETF approved for launch yet, but the early application suggests that perhaps a spot ether ETF isn't out of the realm of possibility.

  • Neither Ark nor 21Shares responded to requests for comment.

Context: It helps that a U.S. court of appeals last week found that the SEC's denying Grayscale a spot bitcoin ETF was arbitrary — by that logic, now would be the perfect time to ask for spot bitcoin, but also for spot ether.

  • There was already chatter that the SEC had eased on the idea of ether futures ETFs.

By the numbers: ETH prices, which were down with the rest of the market, reversed on the news and traded around $1,630 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Details: Bank of New York Mellon will serve as the trust administrator and transfer agent; Coinbase is the custodian, according to the filing.

Quick take: If you're already asking for the moon, why not also the stars.

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