Grayscale lawyers refer to SEC allowing Volatility Shares' investment vehicle in push for ETF

Grayscale lawyers refer to SEC allowing Volatility Shares’ investment vehicle in push for ETF


Digital asset manager Grayscale has filed a letter in its lawsuit against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the rejection of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), citing a possible precedent in furtherance of its case.

In a letter dated July 10, Grayscale’s legal team notified the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit of the listing of Volatility Shares Trust’s leveraged Bitcoin (BTC) futures ETF. The crypto investment vehicle started trading on June 27 without interference from the SEC, which to date has not approved any spot crypto ETFs but ones tied to BTC futures.

According to Grayscale, the Volatility Shares ETF exposes investors to an “even riskier investment product” than BTC futures ETFs, suggesting a possible avenue for the SEC to approve its offering. The asset manager filed a legal challenge against the commission in June 2022 after the SEC denied an application to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF.

“The fact that the Commission has allowed a leveraged bitcoin futures ETP to begin trading demonstrates that the Commission continues to arbitrarily treat spot bitcoin ETPs differently than bitcoin futures,” said Grayscale. “The 2x Bitcoin Strategy ETF is therefore exposed to even more risks of the bitcoin markets than Grayscale’s proposed spot bitcoin ETP.”

Related: Why a Bitcoin ETF approval would be a big deal

The letter added:

“The only way to eliminate the Commission’s unequal treatment of bitcoin-based ETPs is to allow proposed spot bitcoin ETPs like Grayscale’s to begin trading.”

Several firms have filed applications for spot crypto ETFs with the SEC including BlackRock — the largest asset management company in the world — and ARK Investment Management. Following a June report in which SEC officials claimed the crypto ETF filings were not “sufficiently clear and comprehensive,” some of the applications were refiled to include crypto exchange Coinbase as a surveillance partner.

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