Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments, stated in a recent interview that he “can’t imagine” why the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “wouldn’t want” to protect Grayscale investors and return the true asset value to them. Sonnenshein made this statement in response to a question regarding why the SEC “wouldn’t want” to protect Grayscale investors.
Sonnenshein explained that the SEC “violated the administrative procedures act” by denying approval for the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) to be a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF), in June 2022, during an interview that took place on February 25 on What Bitcoin Did, a popular podcast that is hosted by Peter McCormack. The podcast is called What Bitcoin Did.
He stated that this act ensures that the regulator does not show “favoritism” or act “arbitrarily,” adding that the SEC acted “arbitrarily” by approving Bitcoin Futures ETFs while rejecting “GBTC’s conversion.” He explained that this act ensures that the regulator does not show “favoritism” or act “arbitrarily.”
Grayscale Investments saw the SEC’s approval of the first Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as “a indication” that the SEC was “changing its approach about Bitcoin,” according to Sonnenshein’s observation.
He stated that there is a “couple billion dollars” of capital that would immediately go back into investors’ pockets, on a “overnight basis,” if GBTC was approved as a spot Bitcoin ETF, and that this capital would “bleed back” up to the fund’s net asset value. He said this would occur if the fund was approved as a spot Bitcoin ETF (NAV).
Sonnenshein noted that this is because GBTC is now trading at a discount to its NAV. However, if it were to convert to an ETF, there would “no longer” be a discount or a premium; instead, there would be a “arbitraged mechanism” incorporated in the product.
He reaffirmed that Grayscale is now “suing the SEC now,” and that the company may have a ruling appealing the SEC’s rejection of its original application as early as “fall 2023.”
In addition to this, he said that Grayscale has more than “a million investor accounts,” and that investors from all around the globe trust on the company to “do the right thing for them.”
Sonnenshein “can’t fathom” a scenario in which the SEC would have no interest in “protecting investors” or “returning that value” to those investors.
He continued by saying that Grayscale isn’t going “to shy” away from the fact that it has a “commercial interest” in this approval, noting that if the application to challenge the SEC is denied, Grayscale may be able to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court. He said that Grayscale isn’t going “to shy” away from the fact that it has a “commercial interest” in this approval.
This comes as a result of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing a 73-page brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in December 2022, outlining its reasons for denying Grayscale’s request to convert its $12 billion Bitcoin Trust into a spot-based Bitcoin ETF in June 2022. The brief was submitted in response to Grayscale’s request to convert its Bitcoin Trust into a spot-based Bitcoin ETF.
The conclusions that Grayscale’s approach did not adequately safeguard against fraud and manipulation were the primary considerations that led to the SEC’s determination.
The regulator has arrived at a same conclusion in a number of past applications for the creation of spot-based Bitcoin ETFs.