Grayscale eyes Europe expansion just as spot Bitcoin ETFs gain global traction

Saif Naqvi
Source: Pixabay

Even though Bitcoin has etched itself in global economies in some form or another, regulators are still pessimistic about fully embracing all that crypto has to offer. For instance, The United States has been reluctant to allow spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds, citing various ‘investment risks’. Perhaps this is one of a few reasons why Grayscale is looking to foray into a more ‘friendly’ European crypto market.

Grayscale Investments LLC, a digital asset manager which holds a nearly $30 Billion Bitcoin trust, is preparing to expand into Europe, according to a Bloomberg report.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Grayscale Chief Executive Officer Michael Sonnenshein said “Although the EU is unified, we don’t view the entire European market as in fact one market… Instead we’re going to be very thoughtful, very methodical about each of the financial centers and financial hubs that we ultimately launch in, because we recognize the differentiation of investor behaviors and attitudes, and of regulatory regimes.”

Bitcoin Spot ETFs Gain Traction in Europe

Source: Twitter

The Europe push comes on the back of Grayscale’s effort to get its bid approved by the U.S. SEC to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a physically-backed exchange-traded fund. While the regulator has allowed Bitcoin derivatives-backed ETFs to trade, spot ETF applications by Fidelity Investments, Bitwise Asset Management, and SkyBridge Capital have been rejected. The SEC had cited ‘fraudulent activity in crypto’ and ‘investment risks’ while denying such applications.

While the U.S. has remained cautious in its approach, such products are blossoming in Europe. As of February, a total of 73 crypto ETPs were operational in Europe, representing 57% of the global crypto ETP industry. Boston-based Fidelity Investments became the latest to issue a Physical Bitcoin ETP in the region, bagging a listing on the Xetra bourse in Germany. Notably, the U.S. SEC had denied Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin ETF proposal in January.

Spot Crypto ETF Gets Delayed in Australia

Source: Twitter

Investment risks may deter regulators from adopting different BTC products but some regions have begun to test the waters associated with Bitcoin spot ETFs. Recently, the ETF crusade made its way down under after Cosmos Asset Management became the first to have a Bitcoin spot ETF approved in the region.

However, in a surprising twist, the planned launch on 27 April is now delayed. While the Cboe Australian exchange explained the delay as a matter of ‘standard checks’ and balances, the local news agency Australian Financial Review suggested that a third-party broker was blocking the investment product from trading on the exchange.