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Grayscale: The SEC must get comfortable with spot Bitcoin ETF Grayscale: The SEC must get comfortable with spot Bitcoin ETF

Grayscale: The SEC must get comfortable with spot Bitcoin ETF

With the approval of a fourth Bitcoin futures ETF, SECโ€™s arguments for rejecting spot Bitcoin ETFs are running thin, according to Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein.

Grayscale: The SEC must get comfortable with spot Bitcoin ETF

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of the largest bitcoin and crypto fund Grayscale, has argued that the SEC’s justifications of why it approved Bitcoin futures ETFs but not spot ETFs, don’t add up.

The tweet was posted moments after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially approved another Bitcoin futures Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) โ€” the Teucrium ETF โ€” totaling four ETFs in the U.S. market.

ETFs are financial products that follow the value of an underlying asset, in this case, Bitcoin (BTC).

โ€œToday, the SEC approved another US-based Bitcoin futures ETF. Great, right? We agree. But it’s important to realize that not all Bitcoin futures ETFs are created equal,โ€

Sonnenshein continued on twitter.

Over 80-year-old set of regulations

Prior to this latest approval by the SEC, the U.S. had three Bitcoin futures ETFs: BITO, XBTF, and BTF. Each of these holds Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Bitcoin futures and are registered under the so-called ’40 Act โ€“ an over 80-year-old set of regulations that govern many investment products on the market today.

Sonnenshein continues to examine the potential impact to spot bitcoin ETF applicants, including, not surprisingly, Grayscale’s own application.

Whatโ€™s a โ€œregulated market of significant sizeโ€?

Sonnenshein also argued that the SEC made interesting commentary on the Teucrium approval, particularly concerning what it refers to as โ€œregulated markets of significant sizeโ€.

Historically, the SEC asserted that the absence of regulated markets of significant size related to the underlying assets โ€” i.e. bitcoin โ€” was a critical and/or missing element to the approval of a spot bitcoin ETF.

โ€œToday, in approving Teucriumโ€™s application under the โ€˜33 Act, the SEC cleverly decided to define the โ€œmarketโ€ as just the CME Group and the โ€œunderlying assetsโ€ as just CME bitcoin futures, which of course makes CME significant since it [has] 100% of the CME bitcoin futures market!โ€

According to Sonnenshein, who also said:

โ€œWhatโ€™s wrong with this argument? Well, digging deeper, letโ€™s remember that CME bitcoin futures are priced based on spot Bitcoin markets [Sonnensheinโ€™s emphasis] and therefore directly influenced by them.โ€

Today Grayscaleโ€™s argument becomes even stronger

According to Sonnenshein, the SEC even acknowledges the link in its approval of Teucrium and this makes Grayscale’s argument “even stronger.”

Sonnensheinโ€™s tweet threat was soon retweeted by Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscaleโ€™s parent company Digital Currency Group, saying the “sec delay” needed to be stopped. He added that:

โ€œThe SEC is running out of excuses for not approving a spot based bitcoin ETF.โ€

Since filing their application for a bitcoin spot ETF, Grayscale has set up a service aiding supporters to easily send emails to the SEC.