The recent surge in filings for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is being seen as a significant validation for Bitcoin, according to Grayscale Investments CEO Michael Sonnenshein. In an interview on CNBC’s Last Call, Sonnenshein dismissed the idea that BlackRock’s entry into the Bitcoin ETF race made it “uncool.” He stated that having the world’s largest asset manager publicly committing to advancing their crypto efforts only adds to the legitimacy and longevity of the asset class.
Over the past four weeks, seven major institutional firms, including BlackRock, have applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States. If approved, these ETFs would provide both institutional and retail investors with a simple and legally compliant way to gain exposure to the price of Bitcoin without actually owning the cryptocurrency. Sonnenshein noted that the ETF wrapper has proven successful for various assets, such as commodities and stocks, and Bitcoin is an asset that is here to stay. He believes that investors deserve access to Bitcoin and the ETF structure will provide additional protection for them.
Currently, Grayscale offers U.S. investors a roundabout way of accessing Bitcoin through its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which allows them to trade shares in trusts holding Bitcoin. However, the firm aims to convert GBTC into a spot Bitcoin ETF, offering investors a more straightforward method of trading the cryptocurrency without GBTC’s discount to net asset value. Sonnenshein described the ability to give investors Bitcoin exposure through GBTC as an “unbelievable milestone,” but emphasized that moving to an ETF structure would provide investors with the added protection they desire.
In June 2022, Grayscale filed a lawsuit against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after its 2021 application to convert GBTC was rejected. Sonnenshein highlighted that if they are successful in their legal challenge, billions of dollars of investor capital could be unlocked.
The filing by BlackRock for a spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15 caused the price of Bitcoin to surge more than 20% in the following days, reaching a year-high of $31,460 on July 6. As of now, the price of Bitcoin is at $30,633.
The interest in spot Bitcoin ETFs and the involvement of major institutional firms like BlackRock indicate a growing acceptance and adoption of Bitcoin within traditional finance. The increased institutional interest could potentially lead to more regulatory clarity and a broader range of investment options for both institutional and retail investors. This moment in history has garnered attention, with the option to collect the article as an NFT to support independent journalism in the crypto space.
In conclusion, the recent influx of spot Bitcoin ETF filings represents a validation of Bitcoin as an asset class. The involvement of major institutional firms like BlackRock adds to the credibility and staying power of Bitcoin. If approved, these ETFs would provide investors with a simpler and legally compliant way to gain exposure to Bitcoin’s price. Grayscale Investments aims to convert its existing Bitcoin trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF to offer investors additional protection. The surge in interest in these ETF filings has caused the price of Bitcoin to rise significantly, signaling growing acceptance and adoption within traditional finance.