Crypto industry leaders are hopeful that Grayscale, the major crypto asset management company behind the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), will get the necessary clearances to convert the trust into a spot-based bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Grayscale has hired Donald B. Verrilli, a former Attorney General of the United States, as his legal counsel, to take charge by the current deadline for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to respond to its application to convert GBTC to an ETF. The following statement came from Grayscale:

   "We want to make sure we have the strongest possible legal team ready to support our BTC ETF application."

The firm said Verrilli is one of the most experienced lawyers in the country and has a "deep knowledge" of the practical issues of working with judicial bodies. The deadline for the SEC to make a decision is July 6.

Donald B. Verrilli

The news that Grayscale has hired Verrilli as its legal adviser has sparked optimism in the crypto industry, given his solid experience working with US regulators.

   “A strong move,” said attorney Jake Chervinsky, Policy Officer at the US-based Blockchain Association. Grayscale knows the business."

Chervinsky added that there is no doubt that Grayscale's application will be approved.

   "I don't understand how the SEC has survived, especially in a legal battle led by Don Verrilli. Mark your calendar."

Zhu Su, co-founder and CEO of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, also commented on the news, saying the move to hire Verrilli was a "strong move".

The news came when Law360, an industry media outlet, reported that several prominent lawyers working for the SEC left the agency last year.

Btc Etf

According to the report, the departure of lawyers from the agency is not just about the vibrant job market for lawyers, but also about the intimidation of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler's aggressive enforcement tactics and targeting more lawsuits and conciliation penalties.

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein confirmed in March this year that if his ETF application is rejected, his company can sue the SEC under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). "I think all options will be considered in July," Sonnenshein said.

If Grayscale converts the Bitcoin Trust into an ETF, it will be a Bitcoin ETF backed directly by 'physical' Bitcoin in the US and not by Bitcoin futures contracts. A potential confirmation is thought to have a major impact on Bitcoin (BTC) price.