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Court to hear oral arguments in Grayscale’s lawsuit against the SEC in March

Grayscale had expected to be unable to make arguments until the second quarter, so the shorter schedule is “good news.”

A US appeals court will hear oral arguments in Grayscale Investment’s case against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the SEC’s decision to reject Grayscale’s Bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).

According to a court motion filed on January 23, both parties will submit their arguments on March 7 at 9:30 a.m. local time before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Attorneys offer oral arguments in which they summarise why their clients should win the case. Each side in the case takes turns immediately speaking to the judge and answering questions from the judge, and is granted equal time to do so.

Grayscale Chief Legal Officer Craig Salm noted in a tweet on Jan. 24 that the newly filed motion was “great news,” since they had previously expected oral arguments to be scheduled “as soon as Q2.”

According to the motion, the membership of the argument panel in the Grayscale case will be announced on Feb. 6, 30 days before the date of the oral argument, and the amount of time for the debate will be specified in a separate order.

Grayscale sued the SEC in June after the commission denied its application to convert its $12 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot-based ETF.

Grayscale submitted a reply brief with the D.C. Court of Appeals earlier this month, arguing the SEC behaved arbitrarily in treating spot-traded ETFs differently than futures-traded products and that the SEC exceeded its power when it denied Grayscale’s application for a Bitcoin ETF.

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein echoed a similar remark during an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Jan. 24, stating: “It’s vital to highlight the role that regulators like the SEC play when it comes to investors. They are not here to advise investors on where to invest or where not to invest. They are here to ensure that all necessary disclosures are made […] so that [investors] are aware of all risks.”

Sonnenshein stated that they were “definitely expecting” a court decision in their case against the SEC in “Q2 or Q3 of this year.”

“The frustrating thing for investors and certainly the Grayscale team is that we’re actually a business that was born in the U.S., made use of existing U.S. regulatory frameworks to bring crypto to investors in a safe and compliant way.”

“After meeting with both chambers yesterday and today, what we’re actually hearing […] is that if the SEC had already approved this spot-Bitcoin ETF […], a lot of the recent investor harm we’ve seen in crypto would’ve been avoided,” he added.


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