The much-awaited verdict on Grayscale Investments’ legal battle against the U.S. SEC, aiming to transform its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ($GBTC) into an Bitcoin ETF, has been delayed. The decision, which carries the potential to open doors for crypto assets on conventional U.S. financial markets, was initially anticipated to be announced this Tuesday at 11 AM EST.
Read More: Odds of Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval Watered Down by Former SEC Chief
— Eleanor Terrett (@EleanorTerrett) August 15, 2023
Why GBTC Conversion to Bitcoin ETF is a Big Deal
Grayscale’s ambition to transform its Bitcoin trust into an ETF has garnered attention due to the potential ramifications for the cryptocurrency landscape. ETF approval would enable direct trading of crypto assets on established financial platforms, significantly boosting the asset class. The US SEC had earlier approved the launch of several bitcoin futures ETFs, but Grayscale’s proposal faced repeated rejections.
Legal experts and observers had their eyes peeled for this week’s decision, which is expected to carry considerable implications. The delay in the verdict can be attributed to various factors, including the annual rotation of law clerks in the United States District Courts during August, as noted by Scott Johnsson, a general partner of Van Buren Capital.
Historically, This situation led to judges’ efforts to clear their caseload before new personnel took charge.
March ’21/’22 cases with decisions within 160 days of oral: 30/32 (94%)
Days since Grayscale (March ’23) oral: 160 days
Why should we expect August? Because law clerks for DC generally cycle in/out this month, so judges aim to clear prior caseload before the new guard arrives. https://t.co/vVj0dHus90
— Scott Johnsson (@SGJohnsson) August 14, 2023
Will Court Approve Grayscale Bitcoin ETF?
According to a recent Financial Feeds report, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein had hoped the court would decide within the third quarter. While Sonnenshein refrained from speculating on the outcome, he emphasized that Grayscale was prepared to escalate the matter to the Supreme Court if the initial lawsuit failed. If this route also proves unsuccessful, the company aims to engage with the SEC in discussions concerning potential relief from tender offer rules.
Additionally, the legal proceedings have brought attention to the SEC’s approach, with Grayscale’s attorney raising concerns about the SEC’s use of evidence and reasoning from the VanEck order, which is not officially documented. This strategy, known as “post hoc” reasoning, has drawn criticism for its use as a basis to justify denials.
In conclusion, Grayscale’s pursuit of converting its $GBTC to an Bitcoin ETF faces a temporary setback as the court’s decision gets deferred. While the crypto community and investors eagerly await the outcome, the delay underscores the complexity of regulatory hurdles and the high stakes in shaping crypto assets’ future within traditional financial frameworks.
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