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A Twist in the Bitcoin Tale: Grayscale CEO Hesitates on Spot ETF Despite Court Victory

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  • Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshein expresses doubt over the necessity to refile for a spot Bitcoin ETF after defeating the SEC in court.
  • Despite an initial 17% surge in GBTC shares post-ruling, they dropped 4%, indicating market uncertainty.

The Conundrum of Victory: Court Win Leaves Grayscale Puzzled on Next Steps

Michael Sonnenshein, the CEO of Grayscale Investments, seems to find himself at an intersection of validation and indecision. After earning a “huge win” against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), wherein an appeals court termed the SEC’s denial of Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF as “arbitrary and capricious,” Sonnenshein revealed his lingering uncertainty regarding the next steps in a Bloomberg Television interview.

“Until the final operational procedures emerge from the court’s eventual mandate, the pathway remains nebulous,”

Sonnenshein stated. It’s an elaborate way of saying that even victories in the labyrinthine world of crypto-regulation come with their own sets of questions.

Temporal Flexibility: The 45-Day SEC Window and Market Response

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The SEC has been allocated a 45-day window to request a rehearing post-judgment. Following this period, a final mandate and further directives will be issued by the court. Sonnenshein remarked that the specifics of the final court opinion remain elusive until the lapse of this window.

In the financial markets, the echoes of this ruling were instantly felt. GBTC shares soared by 17%, only to retreat by 4% subsequently. Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart opined that the shrinking discount on GBTC’s net asset value—from -25% to -17%—bespeaks a market that has grown

“more confident but not wholly assured”

regarding the conversion to a spot Bitcoin ETF.

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A Pandora’s Box for Pending ETF Applications?

Grayscale’s courtroom success has potential ramifications far beyond its own ETF endeavors. It reverberates through a slew of pending spot Bitcoin ETF applications from heavy-hitters like BlackRock, Bitwise, VanEck, WisdomTree, Invesco, Fidelity, and Valkyrie, which are slated for SEC decision between September 1 and September 4.

“There should be no more excuses for the SEC to continue this denial pattern,”

Sonnenshein commented, a statement that seems to find resonance with Bloomberg analysts who are now projecting a 75% likelihood of a spot Bitcoin ETF being greenlit by the end of 2023.

Notably, Grayscale’s GBTC, which allows individual investors to trade Bitcoin like a stock, charges a 2% fee—a figure significantly above average ETF fees. Sonnenshein did confirm, however, that the company is

“committed to lowering fees upon GBTC’s conversion to an ETF.”

Thus, while Grayscale’s legal win was unequivocal, its strategic ramifications remain clouded in a mix of regulatory uncertainty and market speculation.


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Collin Brown
Collin Brown
Collin is a Bitcoin investor of the early hour and a long-time trader in the crypto and forex market. He's fascinated by the complex possibilities of blockchain technology and tries to make matter accessible to everyone. His reports focus on developments about the technology for different cryptocurrencies.
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