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Grayscale Re-enters Bitcoin Spot ETF Arena with New S-3 Filing

To maintain its competitive edge in the Bitcoin Spot Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) market, Grayscale has recently submitted a revised S-3 filing for its Bitcoin Spot ETF. This new application marks a significant change in Grayscale’s approach, introducing cash creations into the structure of its Bitcoin ETF. 

Grayscale Revitalizes Spot Bitcoin ETF Ambitions

Grayscale, a global leader in cryptocurrency asset management, has taken a pivotal step by filing an updated S-3 form for its Spot Bitcoin ETF with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This development was highlighted by Bloomberg Analyst James Seyffart on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter).

The revised submission, dated December 26, unveils Grayscale’s shift to a cash-centric approach for its Spot Bitcoin ETF. Under this new arrangement, the fund will exclusively accept cash orders for investment. 

The filing details that authorized participants in the ETF are now limited to handling cash transactions, involving deposits into or withdrawals from the fund’s cash account in relation to the creation and redemption of ETF shares.

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Grayscale Adapts Strategy for Spot Bitcoin ETF Offering

In a bid to enhance the functionality of their Spot Bitcoin ETF, Grayscale while acting outside its role as Sponsor, will be coordinating with the Transfer Agent to facilitate cash orders. For this purpose, Grayscale will engage one or more qualified companies, each termed as a “Liquidity Provider.”

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These providers, distinct from any authorized participants, will be responsible for procuring or relinquishing Bitcoin in connection with these cash transactions.

The shift in Grayscale’s strategy has also caught the attention of Senior Bloomberg Analyst Eric Balchunas. He remarked on the significance of Grayscale transitioning to a cash-only creation model, noting that they were one of the last major holdouts. 

Balchunas speculated that Grayscale might already have an Authorized Participant (AP) agreement in place, which would be a critical component in fulfilling all necessary prerequisites for their ETF.

He also touched upon the uncertainty surrounding Grayscale’s ability to launch simultaneously with others in the competitive ETF space, referring to it as the “Cointucky Derby.”

Grayscale’s ETF Filing Follows Leadership Changes at the Top

The recent amendment to Grayscale’s S-3 Bitcoin Spot ETF filing arrives amid significant changes within the company’s leadership structure. Notably, this update coincides with the departure of Barry Silbert, the CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), from his position on Grayscale’s Board of Directors.

Reports indicate that Silbert’s resignation will become effective from January 1, 2024. In his stead, DCG’s Chief Financial Officer, Mark Shifke, is set to assume the role of Chairman at Grayscale.

This leadership transition has sparked discussions within the crypto community. Ram Ahluwalia, a notable figure in the space, shared insights on X (formerly Twitter) regarding the implications of Silbert’s resignation. 

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He suggested that this move could potentially open doors for Grayscale’s CEO, Michael Sonnenshein, particularly in the context of converting the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a Spot Bitcoin ETF.

Ahluwalia voiced his opinion that Silbert stepping down might be strategically aimed at enhancing the chances of the ETF’s approval, although he doubted any formal direction from the SEC in this regard. He also noted Silbert’s hands-on approach and preference for control, speculating on the SEC’s role in the governance of Grayscale. 

Ahluwalia stated that while the SEC might not explicitly dictate Grayscale’s internal decisions, it could informally indicate the strength of an application. This series of events marks a pivotal phase for Grayscale, as the company navigates through significant internal shifts and a challenging regulatory environment.


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Donald Haymatter

Donald Haymatter is an expert broker with 15+ years of experience. He stays up-to-date with the latest financial news and trends to help clients make informed investment decisions. Donald is known for his analytical approach and personalized investment advice. Outside of work, he enjoys reading and mentoring young professionals.

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