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First bitcoin ETF could be coming soon as court rules in favor of Grayscale over SEC

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The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has paved the way for bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

On Tuesday, the court sided with Grayscale in a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission which had denied the company’s application to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to an ETF. The decision could impact other companies that want to create bitcoin ETFs, like BlackRock and Fidelity.

Bitcoin, ether, and other major cap crypto coins surged on the news, and Coinbase, which is listed as the custodian partner in multiple spot bitcoin ETF applications, was up more than 14% on Tuesday.

Grayscale initiated its lawsuit against the SEC in June 2022 after the agency rejected its application to turn its bitcoin trust, better known by its ticker GBTC, into an ETF. The company decided to pursue the ETF, which would be backed by bitcoin rather than bitcoin derivatives, after the SEC approved ProShares’ futures-based bitcoin ETF in October 2021.

The ruling faced multiple delays but the SEC ultimately rejected the application last summer, citing failure by Grayscale to answer questions related to concerns about market manipulation and investor protections.

“It virtually guarantees they will approve BlackRock and Fidelity,” said Dave Weisberger, CEO of CoinRoutes, a platform that provides algorithmic trading and consolidated market data products for digital assets across multiple exchanges and liquidity providers. “Grayscale may need to refile, but they will almost certainly be approved as well.”

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

CNBC’s Jordan Smith contributed to this report.

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