Grayscale Investments launched a campaign Tuesday that urges U.S. investors to submit comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission in support of an application to convert its $25.7 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
So far, the SEC has permitted only bitcoin futures ETFs, while continuously rejecting spot bitcoin ETFs, spokeswoman Jennifer Rosenthal said Tuesday. Grayscale wants to educate investors regarding the regulatory process and make it "easier for investors who are interested in speaking out and sharing their perspective to have the opportunity to have their voices heard," Ms. Rosenthal said in an interview.
The campaign includes a webpage where investors can click on "Email the SEC" and have a form email to the SEC pop up that would allow investors to express their support for converting the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to the first spot bitcoin ETF in the U.S.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust already reports voluntarily to SEC, Ms. Rosenthal said.
"And we represent hundreds of thousands of investors in all 50 states in the U.S., and we are hearing from them that they want a bitcoin spot ETF," she said.
In a tweet Tuesday, Nate Geraci, president of The ETF Store, an independent registered investment adviser specializing in ETFs, predicted that the SEC was about to be "inundated" with public comments in support of converting the trust to an ETF now that Grayscale has set up a webpage to facilitate the process.
"I think it's a very interesting and innovative move by an ETF issuer," Mr. Geraci said in an interview Tuesday, adding that Grayscale is aiming to "spark a grass-roots rally" to push for a spot bitcoin ETF approval.
"Many retail investors aren't aware of the SEC's fund approval process," he said in the interview, adding that he likes the approach by Grayscale to "try to educate the broader public on the public commenting process and how the SEC goes about evaluating funds."
Founded in 2013, Grayscale Investments is the world's largest digital currency asset manager, Ms. Rosenthal said. It had about $35 billion in total assets under management as of Feb. 18, she said.