Grayscale Investments, whose application to turn its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a U.S. spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) is being considered by the Securities and Exchange Commission, said Barry Silbert resigned as chairman and will be replaced by Mark Shifke.
Shikfe, DCG's chief financial officer, will replace Silbert as of Jan. 1, Grayscale said in an SEC filing without giving a reason for the changes. Mark Murphy, DCG's president, also resigned from the board.
The SEC has delayed several ETF applications including those of Grayscale, BlackRock, Ark 21shares, Vaneck and Hashdex, many of which have met with the regulator and filed amended documentation as year-end approaches. The agency must approve or reject Ark 21Shares, the first deadline to approach, by Jan. 10.
Silbert's Digital Currency Group (DCG), which owns Grayscale, was sued in October by New York Attorney General Letitia James for allegedly defrauding more than 230,000 investors, including at least 29,000 New Yorkers, of more than $1 billion. James also charged Silbert with defrauding the public by trying to conceal heavy losses. DCG and Silbert rejected the allegations.
Matt Kummell, senior vice president of operations at DCG, and Edward McGee, Grayscale's CFO, also join the board.
"Aligned with Grayscale’s commitment to responsible growth, we are pleased to welcome Mark Shifke, Matt Kummell and Edward McGee to Grayscale’s board of directors," a Grayscale spokeswoman said. "Grayscale and our investors will benefit from their respective experiences in the financial services and asset management industries as we prepare for Grayscale’s next chapter."
UPDATE (Dec. 26, 14:00 UTC): Adds rejection of allegations in second paragraph, Mark Murphy resignation in third.
UPDATE (DEC. 26, 14:21 UTC): Adds SEC delay, amended filings, approval deadline in third paragraph.
UPDATE (DEC. 26, 15:04 UTC): Adds new board members, Grayscale comment.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.