Grayscale Investments, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, has announced that it is preparing for a race to the finish line to get a Bitcoin ETF approved by the SEC. The firm has hired legal counsel and a public relations firm to begin a comprehensive outreach program that will include meetings with lawmakers and regulators in order to get the SEC to approve the application.

The SEC has made it clear that they are not ruling on the pending Bitcoin ETF applications. The number of applications is now up to 8, and they will be assigned numbers starting with the letter “B”. The SEC has also stated that it will not consider new applications, and that they will make a decision on the applications on which they have already made a decision.

Grayscale Prepares for Bitcoin ETF Race Despite Regulatory Limbo

One of the most anticipated bitcoin developments in the US is the approval of an exchange traded fund (ETF) based on the digital asset.  A green light for such a product would really make bitcoin accessible to the masses.  While an ETF is by no means necessary for bitcoin to flourish, it is widely believed that it would accelerate its already impressive growth.

While several U.S. companies are preparing for this event, other countries like Brazil continue to allow ETFs based on digital assets.

Grey + BNY Mellon

At the end of June, we discussed bitcoin ETFs in the US and some new uses for such a product.  Despite the uncertainty surrounding these applications, companies like Grayscale Investments continue to prepare for ETFs.  This became clear when the company announced a strategic partnership with BNY Mellon, the world’s largest custodian of financial assets.  As part of the partnership, which is to provide Grayscale with improved scalability, resilience and automation, BNY Mellon will offer a variety of features.

  • Fund accounting
  • Administration
  • Transfer agency services
  • ETF Services

Grayscale says the move was made in anticipation of the possible conversion of its Bitcoin trust into an ETF.

Michael Sonnenschein, CEO of Grayscale Investments, commented on the partnership,

BNY Mellon’s investment is an important step in our efforts to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF….. BNY Mellon has a long-standing reputation as a trusted service provider and was one of the first teams to specialise in the growing asset class of digital currencies. We are delighted that BNY Mellon has joined Grayscale’s group of leading service providers to help us provide a seamless, state-of-the-art investment experience.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is already a very popular investment product, with over $20 billion in assets at the time of writing.  Despite these measures, there is currently no indication that the SEC will change its stance on bitcoin ETFs in the near future.

Brazil

South of the US, the picture for digital asset ETFs becomes much clearer.  A month ago, Brazil became one of the first countries to approve a bitcoin-based ETF.  Many more have been approved since then, with the most recent example being based on another leading digital asset, Ethereum.

The move, made possible by custody services provided by Gemini, is being managed by QR Capital.  The fund will be listed on the B3 stock exchange in the future.

QR Capital notes that by offering this Ethereum-based ETF, investors can gain direct access to Ethereum in a simple and secure manner without having to worry about signing up for exchanges, wallets or private keys.

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