Major crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments announced on the 19th that it has officially commenced the application process to convert Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) to a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
Grayscale’s Bitcoin fund GBTC holds 640,000 BTC and is one of the largest BTC investment trusts in the world. If approved, Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF could become the largest Bitcoin spot ETF in the world.
The application was filed by Arca of the New York Stock Exchange to the US SEC under Form 19b-4.
Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments, said:
“As we file to convert GBTC into an ETF, the natural next step in the product’s evolution, we recognize this as an important moment for our investors, our industry partners, and all those who realize the potential of digital currencies to transform our future.”
Grayscale’s current Bitcoin investment vehicle was developed in 2013 and it began reporting to the US SEC by 2020.
GBTC’s well-developed compliance regime likely has a higher chance to be approved for a physical ETF. However, the SEC is concerned that physical ETFs are riskier and is inclined to approve Bitcoin Futures ETF more.
Dave LaValle, Global Head of ETFs at Grayscale Investments, remarked:
“At Grayscale, we believe that if regulators are comfortable with ETFs that hold futures of a given asset, they should also be comfortable with ETFs that offer exposure to the spot price of that same asset. “GBTC proves that there’s strong investor demand for physically-backed Bitcoin investment vehicles.”
Grayscale’s ETF application came on the heels of ProShares launching the US’s first Bitcoin Strategy ETF yesterday.
Grayscale currently holds 3.44% of all Bitcoin in circulation, with nearly $40 billion AUM.