Crypto fund manager Grayscale is urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve all proposed spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) at the same time to avoid one having an advantage.
A July 27 post by Grayscale Chief Legal Officer Craig Salm said Grayscale’s legal team submitted a letter regarding eight spot Bitcoin ETF filings — including its own — arguing the SEC shouldn’t pick “winners and losers” and instead make a fair and orderly decision.
The letter claimed the SEC could approve the spot ETFs based on its approvals for Bitcoin futures ETFs, saying the two fund types are “inextricably linked.”
Grayscale added recent surveillance sharing agreements (SSAs) between Coinbase and the spot ETF providers are “not a new idea” and claimed they would not meet the SEC’s standards.
The SEC should approve spot #bitcoin ETFs to trade in the US. What’s more, their previous approval of bitcoin futures ETFs shows that they are already in a position to do so. Read more about the latest from our legal team: https://t.co/UC8ksqNcwy $GBTC $BTC
— Grayscale (@Grayscale) July 27, 2023
ETF filings from Invesco, BlackRock, Valkyrie, VanEck, Wisdom, Fidelity and ARK Invest were recently updated to include SSAs with Coinbase.
Coinbase would share information on its trading books and other information so the SEC can monitor any possible market manipulation or irregular trading activity.
In late June, the SEC pushed back on the ETFs due to there being no SSAs, saying they were needed due to what it claimed was the potential for crypto markets to be manipulated.
Grayscale claimed, however, that the SSA’s “would neither satisfy nor be necessary” under the SEC’s standards, as Coinbase isn’t registered with the SEC as a securities exchange or broker-dealer nor with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a futures exchange.
It added approving the ETFs would be “a positive but sudden and significant change” in the SEC’s application of its standard and would “improperly grant an unfairly discriminatory and prejudicial first-mover advantage to these proposals.”
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which aims to track Bitcoin’s price, has nearly 1 million investors, Salm claimed.
Related: Grayscale CEO: BlackRock ETF filing a ‘moment of validation’ for Bitcoin
He said if it’s converted to an ETF, it would return billions in value to investors, adding there’s “simply no reason” the SEC should keep GBTC investors from a spot Bitcoin ETF.
The SEC denied Grayscale’s application to convert the GBTC to a spot Bitcoin ETF last June.
In response, Grayscale sued the regulator, saying it was acting arbitrarily by failing to apply consistent treatment to similar investment vehicles.
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