Digital currency asset manager Grayscale Investments is announcing plans to convert its Bitcoin (BTC) trust into an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Grayscale says it wants to transform the 2013-launched Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a Bitcoin ETF. The value of GBTC’s assets under management is close to $40 billion, according to Grayscale.
The application coincides with the public listing of the first US Bitcoin ETF, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO).
The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is a futures ETF, tracking contracts that speculate on Bitcoin’s future price as opposed to the current or spot price of the flagship crypto asset. Grayscale is applying for a Bitcoin spot ETF, which would track the crypto asset’s current price.
According to the Global Head of ETFs at Grayscale Investments, Dave LaValle, demand is strong for “physically-backed Bitcoin investment vehicles.”
“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 initially applied to convert GBTC into an ETF in 2016 before withdrawing the application months later over concerns that the regulatory environment was not ready for such a product.
Earlier this year, the digital currency asset manager renewed its quest for a Bitcoin ETF, saying it was “100% committed to converting GBTC into an ETF.”
Grayscale also says it wants to convert other crypto investment products in its stable such as Grayscale Ethereum Trust, Grayscale Litecoin Trust and Grayscale Stellar Lumens Trust into ETFs.
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