Let us quickly recap:
- This year, November 2nd, the SEC formally took notice of the Grayscale filing (issued by 24.08.2021) for switching its flagship product Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTCQX: GBTC)
into a Bitcoin Spot ETF. The first possible date for approval (barring SEC extensions) is Dec 24 based on a calculation of Henry Jim.
- This year, October 18th, the SEC formally approved the first Bitcoin FUTURES ETF, The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which was launched on 19.10.2021 (more on Cointelegraph)
- Since 2013, Grayscale and other market players have tried to achieve a SEC approval for an ETF with direct exposure into Bitcoin - with no success
Well, why should finally succeed what was already for more than 7 years, and always for the same reasons apparently not possible?
Grayscale CEO, Michael Sonnenheim argues on the Grayscale homepage as follows:
"We recently announced that NYSE Arca has filed Form 19b-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to convert our flagship product, Grayscale® Bitcoin Trust (OTCQX: GBTC), into a Bitcoin Spot ETF. This move was triggered by the SEC’s clearance of a Bitcoin Futures ETF — which we believe is an indication of the agency’s comfort in Bitcoin as an underlying asset."
In fact, one could, and even should, see it that way, if it were not for the statement by Gensler, SEC Chair, who considers only indirect exposure to Bitcoin to be permissible. With regard to a Bitcoin Futures ETF he said on CNBC:
“What you have here is a product that’s been overseen for four years by a U.S. federal regulator, the CFTC, and that has been wrapped in something that is within our jurisdiction [i.e., the SEC] by the Investment Company Act of 1940, so we have some ability to bring it inside of investor protection.”
In short, for Bitcoin futures the SEC's sister agency, the CFTC already has 4 years of experience. And the SEC can now draw on this experience - volatility or not, it remains a highly speculative instrument - when it allows a corresponding (ETF Security) product to meet its investor protection mandate.
One thing is clear, a 4-year experience period of a U.S. regulated exchange does not exist for Bitcoin or even Ether spot securities ... will not exist until the SEC finally gets around to giving the green light here, and building that very experience. When will that be the case? Yes, I believe in Santa Claus, but realistically rather the one coming end of 2022.
That still could be a watershed moment.
Exciting times, more to come, stay tuned ...