Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s [GBTC] rise sharper than Bitcoin’s [BTC] price; institutional investors on an upswing?

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The massive Bitcoin [BTC] price rally that began earlier this month, not only reaffirmed faith in virtual currencies, but also oversaw a wave of institutional growth. Grayscale Investment Group, the crypto-centric asset management firm, saw its Bitcoin Trust [GBTC] grow, relative to the price of the king coin.

Alex Krüger, an economist and trader, drew the difference in valuation surges between Bitcoin and the GBTC, citing “new money” that is being injected into the digital assets realm. He stated that Bitcoin saw a 28 percent rise against its price since April 2, while GBTC had risen by a whopping 47 percent, over the same time period.

His tweet read,

“$GBTC 10% today, outperforming $BTC.
– GBTC +47% since Apr/2 breakout
– BTC +28% since Apr/2 breakout
Another symptom of new money coming into crypto”

GBTC has seen massive growth since the beginning of February. The market price per share, as recorded on 5 February, stood at $3.60, and by the close of the first week of March, it stood at just under $5, a 38.88 percent pump. Over this period, Bitcoin saw a mere $300 increase in its price.

Prior to the April 1 price rally, the market price remained under $5. At its peak, on April 11, the price per share had risen by 47.19 percent to reach $7.36. However, this past week’s market correction not only dropped the collective market’s capitalization to under $180 billion, but also the price of GBTC to under $6.50.

Source: Trading View

GBTC as a metric of Bitcoin and its institutional effects is noteworthy as it is the maiden “publicly quoted security solely invested in and deriving value from the price of Bitcoin.” At press time, one GBTC share was valued at 0.00098409 the price of Bitcoin, or $5 when based on the price of the top cryptocurrency.

With respect to the above ratio, investors are paying a 37 percent premium on top of a 2 percent annual fee.

GBTC is one of the few products to allow investors to partake in the risk and reward of investing in the virtual currency market, without the hassle of private key storage. Brokerage accounts are also eligible for GBTC.

Hence, the growth of GBTC, especially relative to the price of the underlying digital assets, overstates the influx of institutional investors. Given the institutional target infrastructure, Krüger opined that this increase is due to large scale financial players.

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee commented on the GBTC’s rise in early February, stating that institutional increase is firmly behind this rise.

However, some crypto-proponents do not see this investment vehicle as a net gain for the industry in the long term. They dispute GBTC as an investment rather than a store of value or a medium of payment. If Bitcoin wants to eventually replace fiat currency, it needs to be seen not as a get-rich-quick scheme and more of a method of payment.

Additionally, in a recent Diar report, it was noted that institutional products have been on a rise, when compared to the rest of the digital asset market. Since dropping to 10 percent of the total volume in December 2018, their share has jumped to 19 percent by the beginning of April. Given the success of GBTC, the 25 percent mark looks breakable.


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Graduate of Finance and Economics, interested in the intersection of the world of decentralized currency and global governance.

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