Americans want a spot bitcoin ETF, Coinbase's Grewal says

Quick Take

  • The American public wants a spot bitcoin ETF, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Thursday morning.
  • BlackRock filed for its product on June 15, with other asset managers following.

Americans want safe, regulated crypto products that include spot bitcoin ETFs, according to Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal. 

“We think that the market is responding to the American public’s desire to have safe regulated products as part of their portfolio of financial services,” Grewal said in a Thursday interview on Bloomberg TV when asked if he thought the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission would end up approving one. 

His comments came as a flood of applications for a spot bitcoin ETF have been filed over the past month, with asset management giant BlackRock announcing plans for one on June 15 that would see Coinbase Custody Trust Company as its custodian. Invesco, WisdomTree, Valkyrie Funds and ARK Invest are also all in the race to have a spot fund approved.

The SEC has yet to approve a spot bitcoin ETF, citing concerns of manipulation and fraud in the markets over previous years. 

“When the U.S. government, the SEC in particular, stands in the way of that access, they are really standing in the way of what the American people have said, clearly, they want,” Grewal said.

The SEC versus Coinbase

Earlier in the day, Coinbase filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit lodged against it by the SEC, arguing that digital assets in question were not securities and raising concerns about the agency’s interpretation of securities laws. 

Grewal also cited Coinbase’s public listing back in April 2021 when speaking with Bloomberg, citing its “six month exhaustive review” with the agency. 

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has said many cryptocurrencies are securities and has repeatedly said exchanges need to register with the agency. 

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