Today, the Federal Court has ruled in favor of Grayscale Investments, granting their petition for review and vacating the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) order rejecting the conversion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). This decision could pave the way for GBTC’s transformation into an ETF, triggering a 4.1% surge in Bitcoin’s value within an hour.
The Federal Court’s ruling has spotlighted the SEC’s recent order, which denied Grayscale Investments’ proposal to convert GBTC into an ETF. The court found fault with the SEC’s decision, deeming it “arbitrary and capricious” due to the agency’s failure to provide a coherent rationale for the differing treatment of similar financial products.
According to the court’s opinion, Grayscale Investments presented compelling evidence demonstrating an impressive 99.9% correlation between the Bitcoin spot market and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures price. The SEC’s lack of substantial reasoning for greenlighting two bitcoin futures Exchange-Traded Products (ETPs) while rejecting Grayscale’s ETP proposal was deemed inconsistent and legally questionable.
Judge RAO expressed that the absence of a cogent explanation for the differing regulatory treatment of similar products violates established legal norms. As a result, the court granted Grayscale’s petition for review and overturned the Commission’s initial order.
Potential Path Forward: Implications For GBTC’s Future
ETF Analyst James Seyffart weighed in on the court’s decision through a tweet, providing insights into its implications. He clarified that while the Federal Court’s ruling is a significant step forward, it does not automatically ensure the conversion of GBTC into an ETF. The court’s order mandates the SEC to issue a new order within either 45 or 60 days.
Additionally, Seyffart highlighted that the SEC retains the option to file for an en banc hearing within 45 days as part of the appeals process.
BTC Surges Response To Grayscale’s Favorable Ruling
The financial markets reacted swiftly to the Federal Court’s decision. Bitcoin experienced a rapid surge of 4.1% in value within a span of just one hour following the announcement. This boost in the cryptocurrency’s value indicates the market’s approval of the potential transformation of GBTC into an ETF.
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