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Grayscale Looks to Europe for Expansion

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein noted the need for the firm to take a thoughtful, methodical approach to its European expansion.

Grayscale Looks to Europe for Expansion
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Key Takeaways

  • Grayscale has plans to expand into Europe.
  • According to Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein, the firm will need to do so thoughtfully and methodically.
  • The firm has an open application with the SEC for a Bitcoin spot ETF.

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Grayscale is looking to expand its crypto product offerings into Europe, a continent where investors have already had access to crypto spot exchange-traded funds for five years.

Grayscale’s Intercontinental Plans

The largest digital asset manager is making preparations for further growth at a time when prices of crypto assets have stagnated.

According its chief executive officer Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale Investments LLC is going to expand its business into Europe. In an interview today in London, Sonnenshein noted that the path forward into Europe was still unclear in terms of which exchanges or countries it would expand into, as well as which products to initially offer. He noted that this was being worked out via discussions with local partners and via the carrying out of pilot tests.

Sonnenshein said:

“Although the EU is unified, we don’t view the entire European market as in fact one market. Instead we’re going to be very thoughtful, very methodical about each of the financial centers and financial hubs that we ultimately launch in, because we recognize the differentiation of investor behaviors and attitudes, and of regulatory regimes.”

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust stewards around $30 billion worth of the top crypto asset. It is a popular way for investors, especially institutions, to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies without themselves having to securely manage their private keys. Moreover, the GBTC allows for crypto investing without actually having to use a crypto exchange or brokerage, as GBTC is oftentimes available for trade on the stock market.

Grayscale has an open application with the Securities and Exchange Commission to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a Bitcoin spot ETF that directly tracks Bitcoin as its underlying asset. The firm has often been the SEC’s most public critic when it comes to its repeated refusal to approve Bitcoin spot ETFs. Recently, Sonnenshein said that the company would consider suing the SEC if they did not approve its open Bitcoin spot ETF application. The SEC did seek comment from the public on the matter, and it subsequently received hundreds of letters.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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