Grayscale CEO Sonnenshein resigns, replaced by Goldman exec: Crypto reacts

Grayscale CEO Sonnenshein resigns, replaced by Goldman exec: Crypto reacts
CEO Michael Sonnenshein has left Grayscale to "pursue other interests."
  • Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein has resigned.
  • He will be replaced by a Goldman Sachs executive this summer.
  • Sonnenshein’s tenure included a court battle with the SEC that paved the way for spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments, has resigned “to pursue other interests,” the firm said Monday.

Goldman Sachs executive Peter Mintzberg will take over as CEO in August.

Grayscale’s Chief Financial Officer Edward McGee will lead the company in the interim.

Sonnenshein’s three-year tenure as CEO was dominated by a court battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which had denied Grayscale’s application to convert its struggling Bitcoin fund into a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

Grayscale won that battle and paved the way for a flood of Bitcoin ETFs, one of several factors that pushed the cryptocurrency to new heights in March.

But the move backfired on Grayscale.

Its ETF has haemorrhaged over $17 billion in Bitcoin since January, while funds from rivals BlackRock and Fidelity have vacuumed more than $23 billion in assets.

At issue was Grayscale’s 1.5% management fee, which turned out to be multiples higher than their competitors’ 0.2% or 0.3% fees.

Join the community to get our latest stories and updates

“Like a sports team losing games, outflows are tough on the spirit and culture so usually someone get[s] fired, usually the head coach,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Eric Balchunas wrote on X.

“It was a tough situation [because] had they matched [BlackRock] at their Terrordome-level fees they’d have likely have killed all their margin and then some.”

Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscale parent company Digital Currency Group, thanked Sonnenshein in a statement for guiding Grayscale through its legal battle with the SEC, and growing its assets under management from $60 million to around $30 billion.

Mintzberg is Goldman’s global head of strategy for asset and wealth management.

He previously held leadership positions at BlackRock, OppenheimerFunds, and Invesco.

“I’ve long admired Grayscale’s position as the leading crypto asset management firm, and I am honoured to join the most talented and pioneering team in the business,” Mintzberg said in a statement.

“This is an exciting time in Grayscale’s history as it continues to capitalise on the unprecedented momentum in the asset class.”

In a post on X, Sonnenshein thanked Silbert and his colleagues at Grayscale.

“I leave @Grayscale with deep gratitude for everyone who has been on this incredible rocket ship journey,” he wrote. “To the moon.”

Update, May 20: This story was corrected to note that Grayscale grew its assets under management to around $30 billion during Sonnenshein’s tenure.

Aleks Gilbert is a DeFi Correspondent at DL News. Got a tip? Email at