Crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments is “constructively engaging” with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its application to convert its flagship bitcoin trust into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), says CEO Michael Sonnenshein. The executive believes that Grayscale has “a really nice advantage” over other spot bitcoin ETF applicants.
Grayscale ‘Constructively Engaging’ With SEC
Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshein discussed his company’s plan to convert its flagship bitcoin trust (GBTC) into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in an interview with Bloomberg at DC Fintech Week on Wednesday. The SEC originally rejected the crypto asset manager’s spot bitcoin ETF application. However, a court recently ordered the securities regulator to reevaluate the company’s application.
“A couple months ago, a decision did come out of the D.C. Circuit that did vacate the SEC’s denial of the GBTC uplisting to a spot Bitcoin ETF on the New York Stock Exchange. We really respected and continue to respect the court process,” the Grayscale CEO described.
“There was a period of time after that during which the SEC could have challenged that decision. They in fact did not,” Sonnenshein continued. “So what you’ve seen now over the last few weeks is our team putting in the appropriate filings in front of the SEC including our S-3 filing that now really allows us to continue to have a constructive dialogue with the SEC, with all the required documents that would support us moving towards that uplisting on NYSE.” The executive added:
So timelines are certainly not something that has been discussed. But what I can tell you is that the SEC is constructively engaging at the moment.
The CEO believes that Grayscale has “a really nice advantage” over other spot bitcoin ETF applicants because “Grayscale Bitcoin trust, GBTC, has already been a well known seasoned issuer for several years now.” He stressed that it gives the company “the ability to file an S-3 as compared to some of the other issuers who have had to file S-1’s.” Form S-3 is a simplified registration statement, while Form S-1 is a comprehensive one that requires companies to disclose a wide range of information about their business, financial condition, and management.
Sonnenshein pointed out that other spot bitcoin ETF applicants do not yet have a product, investors, or trading history. He emphasized that Grayscale is “optimistic” that it will “get through any final hurdles” and its investors will “finally get what they’ve been waiting for very patiently.”
The executive noted that “Grayscale as a team is operationally ready today,” stating: “We’ve been operationally ready to operate GBTC as an ETF, and we’ve certainly made that very well known to the SEC.” Regarding competition, he said: “We think it’s fantastic that there are other issuers that are also trying to launch products.” The Grayscale boss concluded:
We’ve well been and long been prepared for a world in which there are multiple spot bitcoin products in the same way that there are multiple bitcoin futures products.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently said that the regulator is considering between eight and 10 spot bitcoin ETF applications. Some analysts, including those at JPMorgan, expect the SEC to approve multiple spot bitcoin ETFs at once early next year. Global asset management firm Alliance Bernstein expects the price of bitcoin to reach $150,000 by 2025. The firm has predicted “imminent” approvals of spot bitcoin ETFs.
Do you think the SEC will soon approve Grayscale Investments’ application to convert GBTC into a spot bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments section below.