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Grayscale Prepares for Spot Bitcoin ETF Ahead of SEC Approval

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Grayscale Investments said Monday (June 27th, 2022) that it is gearing up to work with heavyweight market makers Jane Street and Virtu Financial if the SEC approves their Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) to be converted into a spot ETF.

GBTC is currently trading at nearly a 30% discount to net asset value. The discount would likely be quickly erased if the trust were to become an ETF.

The SEC’s decision on GBTC’s spot ETF application is due by July 6th, 2022. Many are speculating that the approval will not happen, but CEO Michael Sonnenshien reiterated that his company is committed to converting GBTC from a trust to a spot ETF.

In an interview with CNBC, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency he was prepared to label as a commodity rather than a security. 

“The investing public is hoping for a return just like when they invest in other financial assets we call securities. Many of these financial assets, crypto financial assets have the key attributes of a security,” Gensler said in an interview on Squawk Box, noting that these assets are therefore under the SEC’s jurisdiction. “Some like Bitcoin, and that’s the only one I’m gonna say…My predecessors and others have said, they’re a commodity,” Gensler added. If Bitcoin is classified as a commodity, it would put the asset under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

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