Digital asset manager Grayscale reported overwhelming support in public comments for its application to launch a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
In a Monday letter to investors, Grayscale said that of the more than 11,400 letters the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, had received in regards to its proposed Bitcoin (BTC) investment vehicle, “99.96 percent of those comment letters were supportive of Grayscale’s case” as of June 9. According to Grayscale, roughly 33% of the letters questioned the lack of a spot BTC ETF in the U.S., given the SEC had already approved investment vehicles linked to Bitcoin futures, as was the case for ProShares and Valkyrie.
“The SEC’s actions over the past eight months [...] have signaled an increased recognition of and comfort with the maturity of the underlying Bitcoin market,” said Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein. “The approval of each and every Bitcoin-linked investment product strengthens our arguments about why the U.S. market deserves a spot Bitcoin ETF.”
The regulatory body is currently reviewing Grayscale’s application allowing the firm to convert shares of its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a physically-backed fund, which, if approved, would be the first spot BTC ETF offering in the United States. The application is nearing the end of a 240-day review process, which started in November 2021 and ends on July 6.
Though Grayscale’s campaign to encourage public comments with the SEC has been ongoing since February, many industry experts have suggested the regulatory body approving such an offering was unlikely. The SEC rejected similar applications from NYDIG, and Global X as recently as March, and One River Digital in May. SEC chair Gary Gensler has often pivoted in interviews when questioned as to when the commission could approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, saying in February that he would give the matter “careful consideration.”
“[In my opinion] the chances of GBTC being allowed to convert to an ETF next week are 0.5%,” said Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. “About the same odds the NY Jets have of winning the Super Bowl.”
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It’s unclear what moves Grayscale may make if the SEC denies its application next week. The firm said it was “unequivocally committed” to converting its BTC trust to an ETF, hiring a former U.S. Solicitor General in June to work as a senior legal strategist for its application. In May, the digital asset manager launched a crypto-linked ETF on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana and Deutsche Börse Xetra.