Michael Sonnenshein, the CEO of Grayscale Investments, has highlighted BlackRock’s entry into the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) race as a significant validation for the cryptocurrency. Sonnenshein made this known in a recent interview with CNBC’s Last Call.
The Grayscale CEO dismissed any notion that BlackRock’s involvement made Bitcoin “uncool,” emphasizing that the firm publicly committing to advancing its crypto efforts only strengthens the credibility and enduring potential of the asset class.
In addition, Sonnenshein expressed optimism about the impact of the growing number of spot Bitcoin ETF filings, describing it as a “moment of validation” for Bitcoin. He noted that if these filings were successful, billions of dollars in investor capital could be unlocked, marking a major breakthrough for the cryptocurrency market.
Following a BlackRock spot Bitcoin ETF on June 15 filing, the price of Bitcoin increased by more than 20%. On July 6, it hit a record high of $31,460. In the past month, at least seven significant institutional companies, including BlackRock, have applied for spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US, indicating growing institutional interest in Bitcoin.
Sonnenshein compared the ETF wrapper to a tried-and-true access point for various assets, stating that Bitcoin, as a lasting asset, deserves to be included in this structure. If approved, a Bitcoin ETF would provide both institutional and retail investors in the United States with a simple and compliant way to gain exposure to Bitcoin’s price without direct ownership.
Meanwhile, Grayscale has previously offered U.S. investors an alternative method to access Bitcoin through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), enabling the trading of shares representing large pools of Bitcoin. The company now plans to transform GBTC into a spot Bitcoin ETF, giving investors a simpler way to trade Bitcoin’s price without the GBTC-related discount to net asset value.
Sonnenshein emphasized that while the ability to provide Bitcoin exposure through GBTC has been a significant milestone, transitioning to an ETF structure would offer investors additional protection and fulfill their desires for enhanced safeguards.
In June 2022, Grayscale filed a lawsuit against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after its 2021 application to convert GBTC into an ETF was rejected. The firm’s recent efforts reflect its ongoing commitment to obtaining SEC approval for a Bitcoin ETF.