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SEC Commissioner Signals Positive Outlook for Spot Bitcoin ETFs as Grayscale Updates ETF Application

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce shared insights on pending spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), signaling a potentially favorable stance toward their approval.

While refraining from discussing specific ongoing ETF proposals, Peirce expressed openness to greenlighting such products, emphasizing her long-standing belief that blocking a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded product serves no purpose.

“I’ve been very transparent that I’ve thought for many years now that there is no reason for us to stand in the way of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded product,” Peirce articulated, highlighting the need to evaluate each product based on its distinct attributes.

Despite the SEC previously receiving numerous applications, Peirce indicated seeing no grounds for denial in several instances. However, she acknowledged the SEC’s past rejections of some ETF applications.

Referring to a potential push from a court ruling, Peirce hinted at a development urging the SEC to review Grayscale’s ETF application. She emphasized a watchful approach, noting that the SEC and its members will navigate the situation considering this legal decision.

Commenting on the SEC’s recent legal setbacks, Peirce highlighted that enforcement is just one facet and advocated for a more holistic strategy. She underscored the potential impact of Congressional legislation and internal SEC dynamics on future regulatory actions.

Touching briefly on the resolution between U.S. agencies and Binance (and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao), Peirce refrained from delving into specifics due to the SEC’s ongoing case against Binance. She noted the common practice of handling criminal charges before civil ones and highlighted Binance’s settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) preceding the SEC’s civil securities charges.

Peirce’s overarching perspective centered on creating a regulatory framework conducive to crypto companies’ operations within the U.S. She expressed optimism about achieving this regulatory clarity in the coming months and years, advocating for a supportive environment for crypto entities to thrive within the country.

Grayscale Updates Bitcoin ETF Application

On another note, Grayscale submitted an updated S-3 prospectus for its pending spot Bitcoin ETF to the SEC on November 22, showcasing continued discussions with the regulatory body. While minor, the filing reflects Grayscale’s responsiveness to SEC feedback, with adjustments observed in cash order references and risk disclosures.

Recent discussions between Grayscale, law firm Davis Polk, and SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets centered on potentially listing the ETF on NYSE Arca. The unique nature of Grayscale’s proposed ETF, aiming to convert an existing investment vehicle, highlights the SEC’s heightened interest.

A court ruling earlier this year mandated the SEC to review Grayscale’s application, despite no guarantee of approval.

Meanwhile, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) currently trades at an -11.86% discount below its net asset value (NAV), indicating market anticipation amid the ETF’s awaited decision.

Considering the sequential timing of Binance’s settlement and potential ETF approvals raises intriguing questions: was the SEC’s intention to settle with Binance and then approve the pending ETFs? or is it a far-fetched scenario?

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