The days since Grayscale’s critical court win against the SEC have seen the company face challenges and opportunities.
On Aug. 29, a court ruled that the SEC must reconsider Grayscale’s application to transform its GBTC fund into a spot Bitcoin ETF, overturning the SEC’s initial denial on grounds that the decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” given the commission’s handling of similar applications from other entities.
Although the court ruling does not guarantee approval from the SEC, it marks a significant step toward this objective.
Grayscale, however, may face challenges in terms of competitiveness despite the optimism surrounding the recent legal win. While the firm’s GBTC fund carries a 2% fee, the average fee for U.S.-listed ETFs stands at 0.54%, placing GBTC at a competitive disadvantage. Furthermore, the global average for cryptocurrency ETPs sits at 1.48%. This disparity has led some industry experts, including insights from Bloomberg, to speculate that Grayscale may find it challenging to compete if alternative offerings present more competitive fees.
In response to these concerns, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein hinted at a possible reduction in fees should they successfully convert the GBTC fund into an ETF. However, Sonnenshein did not specify the degree to which fees might be lowered. As it stands, the GBTC fund generates a substantial $339 million annually in fees, benefiting Grayscale’s parent company, Digital Currency Group.
In spite of its relatively high fee structure, Grayscale’s popularity among investors is evident. Reports from CCData highlighted that Grayscale’s GBTC fund witnessed a remarkable addition of $1.17 billion to its assets under management (AUM) on Aug. 29 and 30—the day of its court win and the day that followed. This significant growth brings Grayscale’s total AUM to $17.4 billion.
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