Grayscale Investments, the company behind the investment vehicle of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), have now filed with the New York Stock Exchange to make bitcoin more accessible to investors, announced January 20. With an IPO of $500 million, it should be plenty to appease the rapid influx of Wall Street traders looking to enter positions into an entirely new type of asset.
On top of that, a new Twitter account emerged under the name of the Ethereum Investment Trust during December 2016, sponsored by Grayscale Investment, possibly indicating an Ethereum Classic ETF will follow if the bitcoin one is successful.
As the most proven and strongest cryptocurrency sees more money flow in from investors that see bitcoin as an asset to add to a portfolio, there is only one way so far to gain exposure through a regulated institution. The Bitcoin Investment Trust is the first and only publicly available investment vehicle.
As of the time of writing, GBTC shares are only available via Over the Counter (OTC) markets and currently sell at a premium compared to the underlying asset, the cryptocurrency bitcoin. With GBTC at a low of $116, and each GBTC share equivalent to a tenth of one bitcoin, there is about a 30 percent premium, showing how eager investors are to receive exposure to a new potential asset in their portfolio.
The Bank of New York Mellon will be responsible for being the transfer agent for shares of the fund, and Xapo Inc., a well-known Bitcoin company, is announced as the custodian of the trust’s bitcoin.
Grayscale’s filing now brings the total to three bitcoin funds, with the Winklevoss’s ETF, as well as the SolidX bitcoin trust, being the other two the SEC is currently debating on approving. If any of the three are approved, they will be the first ETFs with an exclusive focus on bitcoin.
While waiting for approval from the SEC, the Digital Currency Group company has gone ahead with their second product, known as the Ethereum Investment Trust, which will allow investors to “gain exposure to the price movement of Ethereum Classic through the purchase of a titled security.” While the website provides no specifics or further details, a form is available to fill out will allow interested investors to request more information on this new investment vehicle.