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Grayscale launches campaign to encourage public comments on Bitcoin ETF application



As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is considering whether to approve or deny asset manager Grayscale’s application for a Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF), the firm has called on American investors to submit comments to the regulator.

In a Tuesday Twitter thread, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein announced the launch of an advocacy campaign for U.S.-based investors to speak their minds to the SEC before any final decision is reached on the Bitcoin (BTC) investment vehicle. Since the NYSE Arca filed with the regulatory body on Oct. 19 to list shares of Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF under the ticker GBTC, the commission has delayed its decision on Dec. 15 and again on Feb. 4.

“This campaign aims to educate and inspire the investment community to take action and make their voices heard on this historic decision,” said Sonnenshein.

According to Grayscale’s chief legal officer Craig Salm, the firm has already received more than 200 letters in support of the SEC allowing the firm to convert its Bitcoin Trust into a physically-backed fund. Salm said some of the common themes from the feedback included calling a crypto ETF “in the public’s best interest,” allowing the United States to stay competitive with innovative investment vehicles, and calling out the SEC’s “nonsensical” approach in approving ETFs linked to Bitcoin futures but not BTC spot ETFs.

The Feb. 4 deferment from the SEC opened the floor to “interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change” for Grayscale’s BTC spot ETF. The regulatory body has the ability to extend the deliberation window up to 240 days from when the proposed rule change was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 8, meaning the SEC should reach a decision before July 6, 2022.

To date, the SEC has not approved any investment vehicle with direct exposure to crypto. Grayscale filed an application to restructure its Bitcoin Trust into an ETF in October shortly after the SEC approved ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF for listing on the New York Stock Exchange and shares of crypto-asset manager Valkyrie’s Bitcoin ETF fund on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Related: Here’s why the SEC keeps rejecting spot Bitcoin ETF applications

If approved by the SEC, Grayscale would have the first publicly listed Bitcoin spot ETF available in the United States. This year, the regulator has already rejected applications for Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust and First Trust SkyBridge Bitcoin ETF Trust but is expected to reach a decision on NYDIG’s spot Bitcoin ETF and ​​asset manager Stone Ridge Holdings Group’s BTC ETF in March.