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Crypto: Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest is readying the first bitcoin ETF with 21Shares

You can throw Cathie Wood's ARK Invest in the ring of companies hoping to eventually offer a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund. Read More...

ARK Invest is teaming up with 21Shares AG’s U.S. affiliate, which serves as the filer and issuer of the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF.

You can throw Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest in the ring of companies hoping to eventually offer a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund.

According to a regulatory filing on Monday, Wood has teamed up with 21Shares to offer the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, which would trade under the ticker symbol “ARKB,” if approved. The bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.05% ETF would list on the Cboe Global Markets CBOE, -1.95% and would use the S&P Bitcoin Index as its benchmark.

Wood’s prospectus is a part of a growing list of ETF providers and fund managers who are seeking to offer crypto in an ETF wrapper to the masses. Coinbase Global’s COIN, +9.86% custodial unit will serve as custodian of the ETFs holdings, according to the filing.

A spokeswoman for ARK Invest said that the company couldn’t comment on its plans. In the effort, ARK joins with a U.S. affiliate of 21Shares AG, a Switzerland-based provider, which has been behind a number of exchange-traded products.

Wood, the ARK Investment Management CEO and prominent promoter of technologies that she perceives as disruptive, has estimated that bitcoin’s price, currently at around $34,000, down about 50% from its mid-April peak, could hit as high as $500,000 if all institutions were to assign a mid-single-digit allocation to the virtual asset, putting it on their balance sheets.

ARK Invest’s actively managed ETFs have been on the recovery after swooning in the spring, amid a rotation out of large-cap tech names. Barron’s reported that her fund has gained an average of 22% since May 13, with the flagship ARK Innovation ARKK, +3.78% leading the chart, up over 30%.

A bitcoin ETF has been the holy grail of the crypto industry, but one that looks increasingly unlikely to be achieved this year under Gary Gensler, the new commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A bitcoin ETF is seen as offering wider accessibility to average investors seeking direct crypto exposures.

Wood’s ambitions to list a bitcoin ETF may pit her against Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC, +5.67%, a closed-end fund holding bitcoin, which is considered one of the biggest crypto funds. There also have been plans afoot for Grayscale trust to eventually convert to an ETF from its current structure. However, it hasn’t yet applied to do so.

ARK Invest has been a big investor in GBTC.

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