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Grayscale Says It's '100% Committed to Converting GBTC Into an ETF'

In a blog post, the world's largest digital asset manager, confirmed its intent to offer an ETF.

Apr 5, 2021 at 12:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:35 p.m. UTC

Grayscale Investments said it's "100% committed" to converting its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In a blog post, the world's largest digital asset manager confirmed its intent to re-apply with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer an ETF.

"First and foremost we wish to make clear: we are 100% committed to converting GBTC into an ETF," Grayscale said in the post. (New York-based Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, the parent company of CoinDesk.)

The U.S. approval of a bitcoin ETF has remained one of the white whales of the crypto industry, with the SEC rejecting dozens of applications in recent years. Some industry observers see an ETF, which provides traditional investors with access to BTC without having to hold the asset itself, as a potential game-changer.

"Grayscale first submitted an application for a Bitcoin ETF in 2016 and spent the better part of 2017 in conversations with the SEC," the firm wrote in its blog post. "Ultimately, we withdrew our application because we believed the regulatory environment for digital assets had not advanced to the point where such a product could successfully be brought to market."

GBTC's collapsing premium

GBTC has been trading at a discount to the price of bitcoin for more than a month. Historically, GBTC had traded at a premium to the price of bitcoin. Shares of GBTC had traded at more than a 35% premium in mid-December, according to data from YCharts.

Analysts speculate the current discount is being caused by market competition.

From alternatives like Osprey’s bitcoin fund to a flood of Canadian bitcoin ETFs, institutional investors now have more choices for seamless bitcoin exposure.

In early March, CoinDesk learned Grayscale was hiring several ETF specialists.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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