Grayscale Reiterates Plans to Convert Bitcoin Trust to Spot ETF

Once the application is made, the SEC will have 75 days to review it.

AccessTimeIconOct 17, 2021 at 2:04 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:50 p.m. UTC

Grayscale Investments reiterated in a tweet on Monday that it plans on applying to convert the world’s biggest bitcoin fund into a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The communications director for Grayscale said the company would file to do so “once there’s official and verifiable evidence of the SEC’s comfort with the underlying #Bitcoin market.”

She said that evidence for that comfort would “likely come in the form of a Bitcoin Futures ETF being deemed effective.” The Securities and Exchange Commission greenlighted the investment vehicle on Friday, and ProShares confirmed in an SEC filing that it will launch its bitcoin futures ETF on Tuesday.

While the exact timing of Grayscale’s intended filing may be new, the world’s largest digital asset manager has made no secret of its intent to seek approval for a spot bitcoin-based ETF once a futures-based one cleared the commission.

Grayscale’s ETF would be backed by actual units of the cryptocurrency, not simply linked it via derivatives contracts such as futures. Should the proposal gain approval, it would be a further expansion of the leading cryptocurrency as a recognized investible asset.

Some analysts predict the $38.7 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), whose shares already trade in public stock markets, has no chance of winning approval anytime soon for its current plan to convert into an ETF backed by the cryptocurrency.

Once the filing is made, the SEC will have 75 days to review it.

Separately on Monday, Grayscale announced that three of its trusts focused on altcoins – Grayscale Zcash Trust, Grayscale Stellar Lumens Trust and Grayscale Horizen Trust – are now available on the OTC Markets under the symbols ZCSH, GXLM and HZEN, respectively.

The move is part of Grayscale’s announced intention to eventually turn all of its private placement vehicles into ETFs, with the next step being to turn them into SEC reporting companies. It now has 9 publicly-quoted products, with its bitcoin and ethereum trusts also being SEC reporting firms.

Grayscale is a unit of Digital Currency Group, which is also the parent of CoinDesk.

UPDATE (Oct. 18, 13:47 UTC): Updated headline and story with information on Grayscale’s tweet.

UPDATE (Oct. 18, 16:57 UTC): Updated with information on Grayscale’s altcoin trusts trading on the OTC Markets at end of story..


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Kevin Reynolds

Kevin Reynolds is Editor in Chief at CoinDesk. He owns bitcoin, ether, polygon and solana.

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