Thursday, 21 September 2023

Crypto News

Grayscale victory, SEC delays decision on Bitcoin ETFs: Law Decoded

Grayscale victory, SEC delays decision on Bitcoin ETFs: Law Decoded

On Aug. 29, crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments scored a major victory against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in its efforts to convert its over-the-counter Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a listed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Neomi Rao ordered Grayscale’s petition for review be granted and the SEC’s order to deny the GBTC listing application be vacated. Previously, Rao said that the SEC did not “offer any explanation” as to why Grayscale was in the wrong. 

Initial enthusiasm in the crypto community about the victory was tempered by the understanding of the limits of the court’s decision. “So far, every time they lose in court they just shamelessly say the judge got it wrong and pursue more shenanigans,” Delphi Labs general counsel Gabriel Shapiro said. According to Zero Knowledge Consulting managing partner Austin Campbell: “For many companies, fighting back is incredibly expensive (you will win, but you’ll be bankrupt when you do) or you’re a financial conglomerate where the SEC can fuck up the rest of your business in the meantime. Gangster behavior.”

Meanwhile, the SEC has postponed its decisions on six applications for spot Bitcoin ETFs. It has designated a longer period in which it may review applications from WisdomTree, VanEck, Invesco Galaxy, Bitwise and Valkyrie, as well as the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust proposed by Fidelity. The SEC will have another 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register to consider the proposed rule changes allowing the listing of the investment vehicles, giving the regulator until October to approve, deny or delay a decision.

Travel Rule comes into effect in the United Kingdom

Crypto asset businesses in the United Kingdom could now begin withholding certain crypto transfers to comply with the new Travel Rule for crypto that came into effect last week. From now on, if an inbound payment is received from a person or entity from an overseas jurisdiction that hasn’t implemented the Travel Rule, the virtual asset service provider must make a “risk-based assessment” as to “whether to make the crypto assets available to the beneficiary.” The same rule applies to Brits looking to send payments outside the United Kingdom.

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