Grayscale inches closer to spot Bitcoin ETF with ‘constructive’ SEC dialogue

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein provided an update on his company’s proposed spot Bitcoin ETF in conversation with Bloomberg on Nov. 8. Grayscale intends to convert its existing Grayscale BTC (GBTC) fund to an ETF.

Sonnenshein commented on current interactions with regulators, stating:

“… What you’ve seen now over the last few weeks is our team putting in the appropriate filings in front of the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] … with all the required documents that would support us moving towards that uplisting on NYSE.”

Sonnsenshein specifically said that Grayscale’s S-3 filing — a securities registration form that is used by companies that have already met other reporting requirements — has allowed the company to have a “constructive dialogue” with the SEC.

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The latest developments follow long-standing attempts from the SEC to dismiss the proposal. However, Grayscale won the right to have its proposal reviewed by the SEC through a legal victory in August. Sonnenshein confirmed to Bloomberg that the SEC did not challenge that legal decision during the period in which it was possible to do so.

Approval seems likely, but not immediate

Sonnenshein also told Bloomberg that Grayscale is “operationally ready” to operate its GBTC fund as an ETF immediately and said that it has made that fact known to the SEC.

Despite that positive statement, it does not appear that the SEC is about to approve Grayscale’s ETF proposal. When asked about a possible timeline for approval, Sonnenshein said that “timelines are certainly not something that has been discussed.”‘

The news comes on the same day that two Bloomberg analysts reported that there is an eight-day period for the SEC to approve all pending spot Bitcoin ETFs.

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Sonnenshein’s statement implies that Grayscale’s ETF will not be among the proposals approved over the coming days, if indeed any fund is approved. Grayscale’s fund could nevertheless be individually approved later than the collective deadline on Nov. 17.

Separate reports from Coindesk quote optimistic statements Grayscale CLO Craig Salm, who said that Grayscale is engaged with the SEC’s division of Trading and Markets. Salm added that approval of the fund is now “a matter of when, not a matter of if.”

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