Grayscale’s foray into the competitive European crypto fund market is discussing expansion plans with local partners

Grayscale Investments, which runs a bitcoin trust fund worth about $30 billion, is preparing to expand into Europe, according to Bloomberg.


Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein said in an interview in London on Tuesday that the company is meeting with local partners to discuss expansion plans, but has not yet decided on which exchanges or countries it will offer the product, or which products to launch first. Grayscale plans to conduct a series of pilot tests in different markets.

The European crypto fund market has become more competitive in recent months as companies such as 21Shares have launched exchange-traded products (ETPs) in Switzerland, Germany and elsewhere. As of March this year, Europe has approved 73 crypto ETPs with a total AUM of $7 billion.

Sonnenshein said, “Although the EU is unified, we do not see the entire European market as actually one market. Instead, we will be very thoughtful about the financial centres where our products are located, as we recognise investor behaviour and attitudes and regulation system differences.”


The expansion comes as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s deadline to approve Grayscale’s conversion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (symbol GBTC) into a physically-backed exchange-traded fund is approaching. While ETFs linked to the spot price of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have been traded in Europe for at least five years, the U.S. has yet to approve such instruments.

U.S. approval of spot bitcoin ETFs could accelerate inflows into the crypto fund industry, with global assets doubling to $120 billion by 2028, according to a March analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence.

U.S. market regulators have approved four bitcoin futures ETFs, but none of them invest directly in the cryptocurrency.

However, Sonnenshin remains optimistic, saying recently that the SEC’s approval of a bitcoin spot ETF is only “a matter of when, not if.”

Lawyers for crypto asset manager Grayscale are ramping up pressure on regulators as the U.S. SEC recently approved Teucrium’s bitcoin ETF application, writing to the SEC saying its bitcoin spot ETF is in line with its approval earlier this month The Teucrium Bitcoin Futures ETF is no different.

For now, SEC Chairman Gensler has been holding off on approving spot ETFs because he believes the Bitcoin market is ripe for manipulation and abuse. Meanwhile, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein said legal action against the SEC is likely if their application is denied.

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