Grayscale Investments has hired a former U.S. Solicitor General to prepare for a possible legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if the regulator rejects his application for a Bitcoin (BTC) Spot Exchange-traded Fund (ETF) on July 6. .

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The company has been waiting for the SEC’s decision to convert its $19.8 billion flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot ETF since filing with the regulator on October 19, 2021.

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The SEC has delayed its decision several times, once in December and again in February. The final decision on the application is expected on July 6.

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Jake Chervinsky, head of the Blockchain Association’s cryptocurrency advocacy group, said adding such firepower to Grayscale’s legal team was a “decisive move” and that the SEC would have little chance of “surviving the lawsuit” if it decided to revoke the approval. currently.

In March, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenschein told Bloomberg that his firm would consider legal action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) if the financial regulator denied an application for its Bitcoin Spot ETF.

He has been a vocal critic of the regulator, which approved cryptocurrency futures ETF products in October 2021 but has yet to do so for the spot ETF equivalent.

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., a new hire, is a former U.S. Solicitor General who served from 2011 to 2016 under the Obama administration. He is currently a partner at the California law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson and founded its Washington, DC office in 2016.

On Twitter, Grayscale explained that the attorney has been involved in more than 50 U.S. Supreme Court cases, including several that directly involved violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

He will be a senior strategy lawyer, working alongside the lawyers of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and in-house counsel, including Craig Salm, who is general counsel.

Greyscale described Verrilli as one of the country’s most experienced lawyers, with a “deep understanding of legal theory, administrative procedures, and the practicalities of dealing with the judiciary.”

“We are thrilled to have him join our team as we work towards a positive solution for investors and the general public.”

Meanwhile, Citadel Securities, a market maker that can provide liquidity for crypto ETFs like the one proposed by Grayscale on Tuesday, said it was open to supporting crypto ETFs but would not do so without regulatory approval.

“We will be ready if and when these products are approved, but we are taking a measured approach,” said Kelly Brennan, head of Citadel ETF. interview with Bloomberg.

Market makers are key liquidity providers in the ETF ecosystem as they ensure that ETFs are traded continuously and efficiently.

Why the World Needs a U.S. Spot Bitcoin ETF: 21Shares CEO Explains

Elsewhere in the world, crypto-linked ETFs are gaining popularity, with total assets invested in crypto ETFs and exchange-traded products (ETPs) reaching $16.28 billion by the end of the first quarter of 2022, according to data from ETF research firm ETFGI.

In February 2021, Canada introduced its first bitcoin ETF, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, becoming one of the first countries in the world to accept spot bitcoin ETFs.

On May 12, Australia launched its first spot crypto ETFs, including Bitcoin ETFs from Cosmos Asset Management, and BTC and Ether (ETH) spot ETFs from 21Shares. Two more crypto ETFs were launched on Monday, June 6th.

In May, Grayscale began trading its first European ETF called the Grayscale Future of Finance UCITS ETF, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana, and on the Xetra Deutsche Börse electronic trading platform.