Coinbase filed an amicus brief supporting Grayscale Investments’ continued efforts to launch a spot-bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), per a court filing.
Amicus briefs, or an amicus curiae, occurs when an organization or individual who is not involved in a court case believes they can offer expertise that could be valuable to a court’s determination by providing information.
The brief, submitted to to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit explains that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has “categorically denied every proposal” for spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S.
Participants of the brief, including the Blockchain Association, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Coin Center stated that "The Commission's 'thumb on the scale' approach does not withstand scrutiny.”
The groups go on to explain that, while a spot bitcoin ETF continues to be blocked, the SEC has found no fault in approving bitcoin futures saying the regulator has allowed “similar, riskier products to enter the market.”
This past June, Grayscale announced it was suing the SEC for repeatedly denying the fund the ability to convert to a spot bitcoin ETF which would allow Grayscale to physically hold bitcoin on behalf of its investors.
By that time, Grayscale had already acquired a top legal mind from President Obama’s administration to lead its legal efforts against the SEC.
The initial request to transition the fund into an ETF was announced in April of last year. The process continues to be an ongoing battle of litigation, with the SEC hiding behind investor and consumer protections without providing constructive feedback on what is necessary to move this investment vehicle forward.