According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Barry Silbert has resigned as Grayscale chairman.
Silbert is joined by Mark Murphy, another company executive who stepped down from the board effective Jan. 1.
Three new members replace Silbert and Murphy. Mark Shifke will succeed Silbert as the board’s new chairman following his role as chief financial officer at Digital Currency Group (DCG), Grayscale’s parent company.
Matthew Kummel, DCG’s senior vice president of operations, also joins the board with Grayscale CFO Edward McGee. McGee will reportedly combine board duties with responsibilities at the digital asset management firm.
Shifke, Kummell, McGee, and CEO Michael Sonnenshein now make up the board at Grayscale. The reasons for these resignations and appointments were not specified in the Dec. 26 SEC filing, although DCG faces a $1 billion fraud lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“Effective January 1, 2024, the board consists of Mr. Shifke, Mr. Kummell, Michael Sonnenshein, and Mr. McGee, who also retain the authority granted to them as officers under the limited liability company agreement of the sponsor,” the announcement reads.
Silbert’s departure comes amid industry-wide optimism for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that would invest in spot Bitcoin (BTC).
Grayscale, in particular, has filed to convert its Bitcoin trust or GBTC into a spot BTC ETF. The SEC acknowledged the application but has not made a decision yet.
13 issuers filed with the SEC, which is expected to accept or deny applicants in early January 2024. Along with spot Bitcoin ETF bids from issuers ARK 21Shares and BlackRock, firms also filed for Ethereum-based investment vehicles in a move that could endorse cryptocurrencies within traditional financial markets.
However, there are varying views on the possible impact approval could have, with entities like BitMEX predicting large inflows while banks such as JPMorgan foresee moderate activity should spot Bitcoin ETFs receive the go-ahead.