Grayscale Wins Landmark SEC Lawsuit: What It Means for Bitcoin ETFs and Crypto Investors

30.08.23 05:20 AM By Stormrake

The United States District Court of Appeals has just ruled in favour of Grayscale Investments in a pivotal lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The lawsuit centred around Grayscale's attempt to launch a Bitcoin spot ETF, which the SEC had initially denied. This landmark decision could signal a turning point for the crypto industry, investors, and pending spot Bitcoin ETF applications.

The information contained here is for general information only. It should not be taken as constituting financial advice. Stormrake is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent financial advice prior to making any personal investments.

The Court Ruling

On August 29, a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals stated that the SEC failed to articulate its reasoning for denying Grayscale's Bitcoin spot ETF application. The court’s decision described the SEC's rejection as "arbitrary and capricious," and it vacated the SEC's order. While this ruling does not automatically green-light the Grayscale ETF, it mandates the SEC to review its initial decision.

Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments, expressed gratitude to everyone involved and said his legal team is “actively reviewing” the court’s findings.

The Backstory

Grayscale (The worlds Largest Bitcoin Trust) had filed an application to convert its over-the-counter Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a listed Bitcoin spot ETF. The SEC turned down the application in June 2022, citing that the proposed fund did not meet anti-fraud and investor protection standards. Dissatisfied, Grayscale took legal action, resulting in the recent court victory.

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Broader Implications for the Crypto Industry

The case has been viewed as a "historic milestone for American investors" and could set a precedent for other pending applications, including those by BlackRock, Fidelity, and Invesco. Ji Kim, head of global policy at the Crypto Council for Innovation, said, "This ruling is not just about Grayscale or Bitcoin; it sets a precedent for the broader crypto industry."

What Happens Next?

The SEC has 45 days to appeal the decision. If they do not, the court could issue a mandate that may direct the SEC to approve Grayscale's application or at least revisit it. Should this happen, it could impact the SEC's forthcoming decisions on similar applications, potentially paving the way for the first-ever Bitcoin spot ETFs. There is a significant backlog of ETF applications before the SEC and this case will become precedent if the SEC denies any more applicants.

For Investors: A New Chapter?

Bitcoin’s price surged more than 6% following the news, showcasing the market's sensitivity to regulatory developments. For investors, this could be the dawn of a new era, offering more structured and potentially safer avenues for investing in Bitcoin.

However, given the regulatory uncertainty that still exists around the world economy investors should seek help before jumping in.


The Grayscale vs. SEC lawsuit marks a significant milestone in the maturing relationship between cryptocurrencies and regulatory bodies. While the legal skirmish might not offer a definitive path forward, it does indicate that the tides are changing in favour of more mainstream acceptance of digital assets. As always, Stormrake is here to help you navigate these exciting yet complex investment opportunities.

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The information in this newsletter is general only. It should not be taken as constituting professional advice from the author - Stormrake PTY LTD.
Stormrake is not a financial adviser and does not provide financial product advice. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the information relates to your unique circumstances. Stormrake is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by this newsletter.


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