ARK Continues To Sell Coinbase Shares Amid Bitcoin ETF Hype

Written by

Eddie Mitchell

Cryptocurrency Writer

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest firm continues to dump a significant number of Coinbase shares ahead of the much-anticipated spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) approval decision this month.

The news follows a trend from Cathie Woods who began unloading Coinbase shares in December 2023, along with their own Bitcoin ETF application on 4 January 2024. 

ARK bets on Bitcoin Spot ETF

As per an ARK Invest tracker tweet on 6 January, the firm has sold 133,823 shares, or approximately $20.6million, of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase from three of its ETFs: ARK Innovation ETF, ARK Next Generation Internet, and ARK Fintech Innovation ETF.

According to the official filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ARK Invest’s application is in partnership with Swiss-based crypto custody firm 21Shares and will be listed on Nasdaq.

2024 could be a historical year for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a whole due to the long-awaited approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States. Though there has been a lot of doubt cast over whether or not it would be approved on 5 January, the recent uptick in ETF applications and refilings has given investors a more positive outlook.

Bloomberg ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas, predicts that the ETFs are going ahead very soon, writing in a tweet: “Yeah it’s basically done. Latest I’m hearing (from multiple sources) that final S-1s are due 8am on Monday as SEC is trying to line everyone up for Jan 11th launch. That said, I still want to hear it from the SEC to call it official.”

The Coinbase crunch

ARK Invest started systematically dumping significant Coinbase shares in early 2023, beginning in March the firm sold around 160,000 shares and then unloaded a further 750,000 shares in the middle of July that year. Further sales in December 2023 and January 2024 have netted the firm upwards of $77m.

Whilst many speculate that Cathie and the firm have gone sour on Coinbase, ARK Innovation still holds almost a billion in Coinbase shares. Their aggressive sales are a means to keeping ARK’s investment goals in check, which involves keeping individual stock weightings below 10% of an ETFs value. With Coinbase’s value surging upward, consistent sales became necessary.  

ETF approval

Though the SEC has yet to officially confirm anything related to ETF approvals, the news is expected to arrive anytime between the 8-10 January deadline. The latest moves from Cathie Wood could be twofold, firstly maintaining portfolio strategy, and secondly freeing up capital for possible approval, which could see crypto markets enter a new bull run.