Grayscale Begins Bitcoin ETF Transition

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  • Grayscale has teamed up with NYSE Arca to file for a spot Bitcoin ETF
  • Grayscale had announced in April that it was planning to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF
  • The company sees the ProShares Bitcoin futures as a stepping stone to a spot Bitcoin ETF

Grayscale has fired the starter pistol on the transition of its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a Bitcoin ETF, with exchange NYSE Arca yesterday announced as partner. Grayscale confirmed in April that it planned to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF and has pushed ahead with the plans in recent weeks, citing the recent approval of ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF as a sign that the regulatory barriers are coming down.

Grayscale Looking to Utilize Competitive Advantage

Grayscale published a press release yesterday which stated that NYSE Arca had filed a Form 19b-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which would convert Grayscale’s flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a Bitcoin Spot ETF. The move comes on the heels of the SEC’s clearance of a Bitcoin Futures ETF.

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust launched in 2013 and calls itself the largest Bitcoin investment vehicle in the world, with some 3.44% of all bitcoin in circulation held in its virtual vaults.

Dave LaValle, Global Head of ETFs at Grayscale Investments said of the move:

At Grayscale, we believe that if regulators are comfortable with ETFs that hold futures of a given asset, they should also be comfortable with ETFs that offer exposure to the spot price of that same asset. GBTC proves that there’s strong investor demand for physically-backed Bitcoin investment vehicles.

Spot Bitcoin ETF Faces Tougher Competition

SEC chair Gary Gensler had clearly stated prior to the futures ETF approval that spot Bitcoin ETFs would have a much tougher time of getting approval than a futures ETF, but Grayscale is one of a number of companies who clearly see the ProShares approval as the first crack in the glass ceiling that one of them will surely shatter soon.