NYSE’s ETF Leaders: Grayscale Investments' David LaValle

Grayscale Investments’ global head of ETFs David LaValle spoke about the firm’s push to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF at Exchange 2023.

See more: “What to Know Ahead of Tuesday’s Grayscale SEC Legal Battle

“We’re really trying to pull digital assets and in particular bitcoin further into the regulatory perimeter,” LaValle said in February. The senior managing director at Grayscale added that he’s seen “a lot of notoriety and excitement around… trying to convert” GBTC “into an ETF.”

The Fight for a Spot Bitcoin ETF

Grayscale filed to convert its flagship product into an ETF in partnership with the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which hasn’t allowed any spot cryptocurrencies to underlie ETFs, denied the application. In response, Grayscale sued the SEC last June after the agency summarily denied its bid.

“So, we decided that we are going to try and have the courts settle that,” LaValle said.

Grayscale argued that regulators were arbitrarily refusing to approve ETFs that directly hold cryptocurrency while approving other ETFs that hold futures contracts on cryptocurrencies. The SEC has argued that cryptocurrency futures are a different asset than spot cryptocurrency and should be treated differently.

While the interview with LaValle was conducted in February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard arguments from both sides in March. As the judges considered Grayscale’s arguments, the firm’s lawyer submitted a letter to the court on Monday pointing out the recently approved 2x Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITX).

Since Grayscale filed its suit, many issuers have submitted filings for their own spot bitcoin ETFs. These include filings from Bitwise, WisdomTree, Invesco, Valkyrie, Fidelity, and BlackRock.

However, back in February, LaValle said that Grayscale was “very much looking forward to [its] March 7 court date in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.”

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