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

A United States appeals court will hear oral arguments related to Grayscale Investment’s lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its decision to deny Grayscale’s Bitcoin (BTC) spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).

According to a court motion filed Jan. 23, both sides will present their arguments before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on March 7, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. local time.

Oral arguments are spoken presentations by lawyers who summarize why their clients should win the case. Each party to the case takes turns speaking directly with and answering questions from the judge and is given an equal amount of time to do so.

In a Twitter post on Jan. 24, Grayscale Chief Legal Officer Craig Salm said the newly filed motion was “welcome news” as they previously anticipated oral arguments to be scheduled “as soon as Q2.”

The composition of the argument panel in the Grayscale case will be revealed on Feb. 6, 30 days prior to the date of the oral argument, while the amount of time for the argument will be determined in a separate order, according to the motion.

Grayscale is updating the appeal timeline with the date for the motion for oral arguments. Source: Grayscale

Grayscale launched its lawsuit against the SEC in June 2022 after the regulator rejected its application to convert its $12 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot-based ETF.

Earlier this month, Grayscale filed a reply letter to the DC Court of Appeals alleging that the SEC acted arbitrarily by treating spot-traded ETFs differently from futures-traded products and that the SEC exceeded its authority when it denied Grayscale’s application for rejected a Bitcoin ETF.

Related: SEC’s ‘one-dimensional’ approach is slowing Bitcoin’s progress: Grayscale CEO

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein echoed a similar point during an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Jan. 24, stating:

“It is important to remember the role that regulators like the SEC play when it comes to investors. They are not here to tell investors what to invest in or what not to invest in. They are here to make sure all the right disclosures are made […] So [investors] are aware of all the risks involved.”

Sonnenshein said they “certainly expected a decision from the courts” regarding 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 are actually a US-born company, have leveraged existing US regulatory frameworks to bring crypto to investors in a safe and compliant manner.”

“Meeting with both houses yesterday and today, which we really hear […] is that the SEC had already approved this spot Bitcoin ETF […] much of the recent investor damage we’ve seen in crypto could have been prevented,” he added.