Leading digital asset manager Grayscale Investments has signed an agreement with Wall Street giants Jane Street and Virtu Financial (VIRT) as “authorized participants” of its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC-USD), Yahoo Finance reported Monday.
Grayscale Prepares for Bitcoin ETF Approval
According to the report, the deal with the market makers is part of the company’s preparations ahead of the possible approval of its Bitcoin Trust conversion to an Exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 6.
An ETF is a basket of securities tracking a specific index. Exchange-traded funds help investors diversify their portfolios while lowering their risks and exposure.
Speaking on the new partnerships, David LaValle, the global head of ETFs at Grayscale, noted that the agreement would be effective after the SEC’s approval. He added that it would help present the firm as “operationally ready” to obtain ETF status.
“We’ve been considering a number of authorized participants, but Jane Street and Virtu have actually signed on the dotted line. It’s a strong vote of confidence that the marketplace is ready for GBTC to become an ETF,” LaValle t0ld Yahoo Finance in an interview.
SEC Continues to Reject Bitcoin ETF Applications
The SEC has continued to maintain a tough stance against approving a Bitcoin Spot ETF proposal despite numerous applications from various investment firms.
For example, Coinfomania reported earlier this year that the SEC rejected a Bitcoin ETF conversion application filed by asset management firm Skybridge Capital and investment advisory company First Trust.
The continued rejections stem from concerns about the market’s maturity and potential manipulation. Nonetheless, Grayscale hopes for a positive decision from the regulator next month.
GrayScale Committed to Converting GBTC
Michael Sonnenshein, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Grayscale, stated that the company is “unequivocally committed to converting GBTC to an ETF” while recounting various milestones the firm has achieved since the ETF application.
He further stated that securing a positive outcome with the SEC aligns with the company’s mission to bring familiar virtual asset investment vehicles to American investors.
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust was launched in 2013 as an investment product that allows investors to buy and trade using their brokerage accounts. GBTC holds approximately 3.4% of the total Bitcoin supply and is owned by more than 850,000 U.S investors, according to the company’s data.
Grayscale started its ETF conversion journey last year when the company filed Form 19b-4 with the SEC to change the asset into a Bitcoin Spot ETF along with its other assets.