Grayscale, a prominent U.S. crypto asset manager, teased its hiring process for its ETF (exchange-traded fund) team today, signaling an optimistic outlook on its long-pending Bitcoin ETF application.
The announcement came via a tweet that has already garnered over half a million views, further underscoring the financial community’s keen interest in the subject.
Long time coming
This move comes on the heels of a broader industry debate concerning the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) stance on Bitcoin ETFs. Grayscale, in particular, has been in a tug-of-war with the SEC over its decision to approve leveraged Bitcoin ETFs while rejecting spot Bitcoin ETF applications, a stance Grayscale has labeled as “arbitrary.”
Last year, the SEC declined Grayscale’s proposal to transform its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF, prompting the firm to take legal action. They contended that a spot ETF was indistinguishable from a futures ETF – which the SEC had previously given the green light.
Recent data from ycharts has shown that the GBTC’s discount to its net asset value (NAV) has tightened to 27.49%, with its shares trading around the $20 mark. Moreover, over the past month, GBTC shares have surged by nearly 43%, outpacing Bitcoin’s 17% rise during the same period. Market analysts have linked this performance surge to BlackRock’s application for a Bitcoin spot ETF, which spurred other traditional financial institutions, including Fidelity, to file for similar ETFs.
The crux of Grayscale’s argument against the SEC hinges on approving a 2x levered Bitcoin futures ETF, which employs leverage to double the daily performance of the S&P CME Bitcoin Futures Daily Roll Index. Grayscale argues this exposes investors to an even riskier investment product than traditional Bitcoin futures exchange-traded products.
If the SEC’s decision tilts in favor of Grayscale, it might set a precedent for the approval of future Bitcoin ETFs, potentially reshaping the landscape of crypto investments. With many financial stakeholders eagerly awaiting the SEC’s verdict, Grayscale’s hint at expanding its ETF team indicates the firm’s readiness to move, depending on the outcome.
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