23.02.2024

Crypto community jubilant over Grayscale decision, but uncertainty remains

The crypto community received the decision it had been hoping for when the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoinspot ETF application. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejection of the application was overturned.

The decision was “a slaughterfest of the SEC arguments,” Cinneamhain Ventures founder Adam Cochran saidon X (formerly Twitter). “This changes everything. Time to pay attention again,” influencer Miles Deutscher chimed in.

The initial enthusiasm was tempered by the understanding that the decision was limited in its scope and the SEC has options for its next steps.

Grayscale released a statement in which chief legal officer Craig Salm said:

“We appreciate that the D.C. Circuit’s opinion acknowledged that this case presented a straight-forward question about equal treatment under the law.”

This more sober evaluation gained traction as analysts considered the SEC’s resourcefulness further.

“Gary Gensler and team are discussing how this can [be] made into a political win. […] Will Gensler graciously accept defeat or talk about how these 3 judges got it wrong?” crypto lawyer John Deaton asked.

Blockchain Association chief policy officer Jake Chervinsky acknowledged the possibility that the SEC would accept defeat, calling that strategy “a face-saving narrative” and “the right move” after “a huge embarrassment.”

Others were less optimistic. “So far, every time they lose in court they just shamelessly say the judge got it wrong and pursue more shenanigans,” Delphi Labs general counsel Gabriel Shapiro said.

Shenanigans can be costly. “For many companies, fighting back is incredibly expensive (you will win, but you’ll be bankrupt when you do) or you’re a financial conglomerate where the SEC can fuck up the rest of your business in the meantime. Gangster behavior,” Zero Knowledge Consulting managing partner Austin Campbell said.

Crypto lawyer Jeremy Hogan reminded the community to beware of what it prays for. “Everyone, welcome ‘Big Money’ to the table. For better, or worse,” he said of the Grayscale win.

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