Grayscale May Sue the SEC if its ETF Application Is Denied

Grayscale's CEO says the firm could engage the SEC in a legal showdown this summer.

Grayscale May Sue the SEC if its ETF Application Is Denied
Photo: Bloomberg

Key Takeaways

  • Grayscale's CEO said today that his company would consider suing the SEC if it did not approve its Bitcoin spot ETF.
  • Sonnenshein claimed the SEC was not doing everything it could do protect investors as long as they were forced to trade crypto by other means.
  • He remains confident that the SEC would eventually approve a Bitcoin spot ETF, though.

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Grayscale might sue the SEC if it does not approve its application for a Bitcoin spot ETF, according to its CEO. The cryptocurrency investment giant has an application with the SEC that would convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot ETF, which would track Bitcoin as its underlying asset.

Legal Action Brewing

The fight for the elusive Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund rages on, with a surprising twist.

In an interview with Bloomberg today, the chief executive officer of Grayscale Investments, Michael Sonnenshein, said that his company would consider a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission if the regulatory agency did not approve its Bitcoin spot ETF application. When asked if his company might pursue an Administrative Procedures Act lawsuit against the SEC, Sonnenshein said, “I think all options are on the table.”

He went on to stress the importance people reaching out to the SEC in response to its request for comment from the public, something many have already done. The SEC has until Jul. 6 to determine whether it will allow for the conversion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund. Grayscale, Sonnenshein noted, is putting its “full resources” behind getting the applications approved by then.

In the interview, he emphasized the sheer size of the GBTC fund, citing its 800,000 accounts in the United States. The Trust has traded since 2015, and Grayscale’s CEO argued that the Trust remaining as it is, rather than being converted into an ETF, puts investors at risk. Since investors are unable to enjoy the protections afforded by the “ETF wrapper,” the SEC is not “doing everything [it] can to actually protect investors,” Sonnenshein argued.

He did count the SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin futures ETF, as well as President Biden’s recently-signed executive order, as progress, though—and he also claimed it was only a matter of time before the Commission approved the long-awaited Bitcoin spot ETF.

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

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