Grayscale Bitcoin ETF: Here’s What’s in the Latest SEC Filing

Crypto asset manager Grayscale has again amended its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission—but there is an important part missing.

In the latest amendment, Grayscale has not mentioned who will partner with the firm as an authorized participant. 

In the world of ETFs, an authorized participant is the organization that works to create and redeem shares of a fund so that an investor can cash out. 

The SEC doesn’t usually put a lot of pressure on issuers of ETFs tied to more traditional assets to explicitly name authorized participants in their applications as a prerequisite for approval. But it’s been flagged as an important step for all the firms vying to launch a Bitcoin ETF.

Experts have said that this is likely the last step of the application process for the long-awaited product after various reviews and amendments as the SEC was urging for it to be listed. 

Last week, major firms BlackRock and Valkyrie named who they’d be partnering with as authorized participants. BlackRock chose banking giant JP Morgan Securities and trading firm Jane Street as authorized participants; Valkyrie named Jane Street and Cantor Fitzgerald.

Grayscale also did not specify the fees associated with its proposed ETF, which other applicants have already done. Fidelity is out of the gate with the lowest fees yet announced at just 0.39%. BlackRock plans to charge 0.47% while Invesco and Galaxy say their fund will wave fees for the first six months and then charge 0.59%.

But Grayscale’s application is unique: The asset manager wants to turn its popular Bitcoin Trust into a spot ETF after a long, drawn-out battle in the courts. A Bitcoin ETF would differ from its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) because it would allow investors to redeem their shares. GBTC was also only initially available to accredited investors (those that meet certain income requirements) while a Bitcoin ETF would trade openly like stocks.

The SEC initially rejected Grayscale’s application to convert its fund, citing many of the same risk and market manipulation reasons it’s used before. Then Grayscale sued the regulator, and in August, a federal appeals court ruled that the SEC had been “arbitrary and capricious” in its rejection. That means the SEC must now review its application again, along with everyone else’s.

Wall Street’s top regulator has a long list of applications from prestigious firms to assess before such a Bitcoin ETF starts trading on a stock exchange. 

The top regulator could still say no to applicants but analysts have said it’s very likely one will get approved this month.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.

Leave a Comment