Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest crypto currency asset manager announced today that the NYSE Arca has filed to convert the firm’s flagship product, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a Bitcoin Spot ETF.
The filing comes on the first day the ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF, the first Bitcoin ETF in the U.S., began trading. The proposed ticker for the Bitcoin spot ETF is BTC.
Craig Salm, Vice President and Head of Legal at Grayscale Investments commented, “Today we saw for the first time a Bitcoin Futures ETF trade on the NYSE. It is our belief that if the SEC is now good with Bitcoin futures, then the commission should also be comfortable with an ETF that holds Bitcoin. Our spot filling starts a 240 day review period, by that 240th day the SEC will either approve or disapprove that application, though it could be approved sooner.”
Salm continued, “This listing today is absolutely a validation for Bitcoin. It’s further evidence that this asset class is here to stay. Bitcoin is a matter of when, not a matter of if. The more this asset becomes available to other investors, the more successful it will become. That’s why we filed to convert.”
CEO of Grayscale Investments Michael Sonnenshein said, “Since 2013, the Grayscale team has worked tirelessly to build the world’s largest, most transparent Bitcoin investment vehicle, GBTC, while partnering with policymakers and regulators to build familiarity and trust in Bitcoin, blockchain, and the underlying Bitcoin market.”
Sonnenshein continued, “In becoming the first crypto SEC reporting investment vehicle, GBTC has helped move the entire digital currency ecosystem forward. As we file to convert GBTC into an ETF, the natural next step in the product’s evolution, we recognize this as an important moment for our investors, our industry partners, and all those who realize the potential of digital currencies to transform our future.”
Grayscale has promised to try to convert GBTC, first launched in 2013, as well as its other 14 investment products into ETFs. Grayscale became an SEC reporting company in January 2020, the trust is the largest Bitcoin traditional investment vehicle in the world, holding an estimated 3.44% of all the current Bitcoin supply.
Dave LaValle, Global Head of ETFs at Grayscale Investments stated, “At Grayscale, we believe that if regulators are comfortable with ETFs that hold futures of a given asset, they should also be comfortable with ETFs that offer exposure to the spot price of that same asset.”
He continued, “GBTC proves that there’s strong investor demand for physically-backed Bitcoin investment vehicles. We are proud to partner with NYSE Arca to submit today’s filing, folding Bitcoin into the familiar protections of an ETF wrapper, and ultimately providing investors with a choice in how they want to allocate their Bitcoin exposure.”
A spot-based ETF may not be the solution many Bitcoiners would advocate for, preferring to self custody their coins instead, but the question is not whether this or that investment vehicle is better, for many investors, a Bitcoin futures and spot ETF approval is the difference between having some Bitcoin exposure and having none.