Grayscale and ‘DC Circuit-ex-machina’ were key to BTC ETF approval: Crypto Mom

Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) could have very well faced an unfavorable outcome today if it weren’t for the Grayscale appeal last yea, according to SEC Commissioner Hester ‘Crypto Mom’ Peirce. 

In a statement on Jan.10, Peirce outlined that issuers have attempted to get a spot Bitcoin ETF across the line for more than a decade, and it could very well have extended well beyond if not for “the DC Circuit-ex-machina.”

Peirce was referring to the U.S. District Court of Appeals overruling the SEC’s decision to deny Grayscale Investment’s spot Bitcoin ETF application in October 2023.

The court mandated that the SEC take a second review at Grayscale’s application to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Peirce was reportedly among the three Commissioners who voted to approve the spot Bitcoin ETF. Gary Gensler and Mark Uyeda reportedly approved the product, while Caroline Crenshaw and Jaime Lizarraga did not reportedly support it. 

Peirce said the SEC’s decision today to approve 11 spot Bitcoin ETF applications does not compensate for “the disparate treatment of spot bitcoin products.”

She suggested that the regulator should have acknowledged its error in delaying the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs.

“The Commission, rather than admitting error, offers a weak explanation for its change of heart,” she further stated.

Related: BlackRock to slash 3% of workforce ahead of Bitcoin ETF deadline: Report

She also noted that the regulator was caught off guard by the Grayscale ruling last year.

“We squandered a decade of opportunities to do our job. If we had applied the standard we use for other commodity-based ETPs, we could have approved these products years ago, but we refused to do so until a court called our bluff.”

On Jan 10, the securities regulator approved the 19b-4 applications from ARK 21Shares, Invesco Galaxy, VanEck, WisdomTree, Fidelity, Valkyrie, BlackRock, Grayscale, Bitwise, Hashdex and Franklin Templeton — approving the rule changes that allow a spot Bitcoin ETF to be listed and traded on the respective exchanges. 

Following the approval, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart stated that it is likely the ETFs will be ready to trade on Jan. 11, given that the S-1 applications are “being checked off.”

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