Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a bitcoin spot ETF, the company announced in a press release Tuesday.
- GBTC first launched in 2013 and has become the largest bitcoin investment vehicle in the world, with assets under management of close to $40 billion. It holds roughly 3.44% of all bitcoin in circulation, according to Grayscale.
- Grayscale has talked repeatedly about its plans to convert GBTC, as well as its 14 other crypto trusts, into ETFs.
- Grayscale’s ETF would be backed by actual units of the cryptocurrency, not simply linked to it via derivatives contracts such as futures. If the SEC approves the proposal, it would be a further expansion of the leading cryptocurrency as a recognized investable asset.
- Some analysts feel the likelihood of Grayscale getting approval of a bitcoin spot ETF anytime soon is slim, given SEC chair Gary Gensler’s often-stated preference for a futures product that might confer more investor protections.
- The SEC will now have 75 days to review Grayscale’s application.
Grayscale is a unit of Digital Currency Group, which is also the parent of CoinDesk.
UPDATE (Oct. 19, 14:06 UTC): Added information in fifth bullet point.
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