(Bloomberg) -- Michael Sonnenshein is stepping down as chief executive officer of Grayscale Investments after a decade-long stint at the cryptocurrency asset manager, and will be replaced later this year by Peter Mintzberg.

Mintzberg, currently the global head of strategy for asset and wealth management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, will become the new CEO on August 15, Grayscale said in a press release. In the interim, Chief Financial Officer Edward McGee will lead the firm, Grayscale said.

Sonnenshein joined Grayscale in 2014 and served as the CEO for the last three years. He stepped down to pursue other interests, the company said. The move was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Under Sonnenshein’s tenure as CEO, Grayscale won a historic battle against the SEC, which paved the way for the approval of the first spot-Bitcoin ETFs. Grayscale had been for years attempting to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (ticker GBTC) into an exchange-traded fund. Since the conversion, the fund has suffered billions in outflows while investors have flocked to newly-launched, cheaper spot-Bitcoin ETFs. 

Read: Grayscale Plans New Bitcoin Fund as GBTC Sheds Billions

GBTC was once one of the only ways for investors to bet on the world’s largest cryptocurrency without buying the token directly; assets peaked at nearly $44 billion in 2021. 

Since converting into an ETF in January, GBTC has bled more than $17.6 billion. The other ten US spot-Bitcoin funds have all had positive inflows this year, with BlackRock’s $15.6 billion haul leading the way. GBTC charges a 1.5% expense ratio, while other funds charge a fraction of that. 

Sonnenshein said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in January that GBTC’s relatively high fee is justified by “the size, the liquidity, and the track record” of the company.

“As an investor, when you are choosing amongst these products, fees are a consideration, the asset manager, the issuer behind it are a consideration, but so should be size, liquidity and that track record,” Sonnenshein said at the time.

The SEC rejected Grayscale’s proposal to convert GBTC in 2022, arguing that an ETF based on Bitcoin lacked adequate oversight to detect fraud. Grayscale sued to overturn the decision, accusing the SEC of discriminating against its product, while approving similar Bitcoin-futures ETFs.

Grayscale’s board and parent company, Digital Currency Group, began searching for a new CEO in late 2023, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter. The search was not related to GBTC’s performance or outflows, the report said. 

“The crypto asset class is at an important inflection point and this is the right moment for a smooth transition,” Sonnenshein said in a press release.

--With assistance from Katie Greifeld.

(Updates throughout)

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