Grayscale Argues Leveraged Bitcoin Futures ETF Approval Shows Spot ETF Should Be Approved

The crypto asset manager is suing the SEC for rejecting its bitcoin ETF application last year.

AccessTimeIconJul 10, 2023 at 4:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 5:03 p.m. UTC

Lawyers for Grayscale, a crypto asset manager, criticized regulators on Monday for approving a leveraged bitcoin-based exchange traded fund (ETF) amid the company's lawsuit over the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) rejection of its own spot bitcoin ETF application, according to a letter the company tweeted.

The letter, addressed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, alleges the SEC approved a leveraged ETF in late June that is "even riskier" than its "traditional" bitcoin-based futures exchange-traded products. Grayscale is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk’s parent company.

"While the commission could theoretically correct its discriminatory treatment of spot bitcoin ETPs by rescinding its approval of all bitcoin-based ETPs, the Commission…the Commission's apparent willingness to permit even a leveraged bitcoin futures ETP—a particularly high-risk version of a bitcoin futures product—makes clear [it] has no intention of doing so," Grayscale's lawyers said in the letter.

The SEC rejected Grayscale's application to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF last year, prompting the company to file a lawsuit against the regulatory agency alleging a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. The DC Circuit Court heard arguments from both parties in March, and a ruling may come by the end of the year.


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Elizabeth Napolitano

Elizabeth Napolitano was a news reporter at CoinDesk.