Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest and European crypto investment firm 21Shares are both seemingly unperturbed by the cryptocurrency regulatory environment in the United States, again requesting approval for a Bitcoin (BTC)-based financial product.

On April 25, the two companies requested that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approve the creation of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) despite being rejected twice before.

The two companies first applied to create their spot Bitcoin ETF on June 28, 2021, a request that was rejected by the SEC in April 2022. The regulator said the product did not meet the requirements of listing a financial product under its rules of practice as well as those of the Exchange Act.

The pair filed another request for a second time in May 2022, an application that the SEC rejected again on Jan. 26 of this year.

An ETF allows investors exposure to a particular asset without actually holding the underlying financial product. A spot Bitcoin ETF allows investors to gain indirect exposure to the cryptocurrency with shares that track BTC’s price in real-time without actually holding Bitcoin.

While the SEC has approved a number of Bitcoin Futures ETFs — which expose buyers to the potential future value of BTC — it has so far rejected every application for a spot Bitcoin ETF, citing difficulties with “protecting investors and the public interest” against fraud and manipulation.

Related: Despite regulatory clarity, Hong Kong crypto ETFs experience lukewarm demand

According to ETF analysts from Bloomberg, it seems likely that a spot Bitcoin ETF could become a reality in the U.S. midway through this year.

Crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG) is currently seeking to convert its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF and has sued the SEC for rejecting its proposal.

Grayscale Chief Legal Officer Craig Salm said in a tweet on Jan. 12, “The case is moving swiftly. While timing is uncertain, oral arguments may be as soon as Q2 [2023].”

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