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Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF encounters further setback

grayscales-spot-bitcoin-etf-encounters-further-setback
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Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF encounters further setback

The US Court of Appeals has, once more, deferred its decision on Grayscale’s ability to convert its widely used Bitcoin Trust into a traditional spot Bitcoin ETF.

Grayscale’s chief legal officer, Craig Salm, disclosed this announcement on X on Aug. 22.

According to Salm’s message, the DC Circuit involving Grayscale has not materialized, and there are still no decisions across the board, including those unrelated to Grayscale, leaving the status of the bitcoin (BTC) spot ETF and other matters awaiting resolution in uncertainty.

The latest delay comes after the ruling was previously pushed back on two separate occasions this year. The decision was widely expected by industry observers on Tuesday, Aug. 22, based on historical timelines for similar cases.

Grayscale, the company attributed to managing the world’s largest bitcoin fund, filed a lawsuit against the SEC in June 2022. It followed the regulators’ decision to turn down a bid to convert the substantial $20 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF. At the time, the SEC cited the investment manager’s failure to answer questions about market manipulation concerns.

The proposed trust-to-ETF transformation aimed to facilitate more convenient access to bitcoin exposure for retail investors, allowing them to engage through regular brokerage accounts. 

During a hearing held in March 2023, Grayscale presented its argument. It asserted that the SEC’s rejection of their application was unjust, particularly in light of the regulator’s approval of bitcoin ETFs based on futures contracts in 2021.

Grayscale contends that the Commission’s inconsistency in its approach towards investment vehicles for the leading cryptocurrency, considering its market capitalization, is a central issue in this legal challenge.

One of the numerous applications

Recapping recent developments, the SEC) has witnessed a notable surge in applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs during June. The initial submission from BlackRock, a prominent global asset management firm, sparked this trend. Subsequently, other industry players such as Fidelity, WisdomTree, and Invesco swiftly entered the fray, transforming the approval process into a competitive race for the coveted regulatory nod.

Despite the escalating interest and flurry of applications, the SEC’s decision to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF has been notably cautious for over a decade.

The prolonged deliberation over the regulatory framework for bitcoin ETFs has generated persistent uncertainty within the cryptocurrency markets. As the decision process experiences continued delays, investors and those operating within the industry are increasingly eager for a definitive resolution that provides much-needed clarity.