The drop of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s premium to all-time lows could indicate a decline in investor interest in Bitcoin. The creation of cheaper and more accurate financial products has drastically decreased the appeal of GBTC.
In the world of cryptocurrencies, competition has grown considerably in recent years. It is necessary to understand that even large companies are facing challenges that they did not have a few months ago. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is the perfect example as its premium has dropped to all-time lows.
Anyone can hear that GBTC or another product at Grayscale has a “premium”. This is the difference between the value of the trust’s shares and the market price of the shares.
As the basis of GBTC is an institutional investment, this drop could indicate less investor interest in BTC. It could also mean that they have opted for other funds on the market.
What Has Happened with Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
After trading negative for nearly 2 months, the premium of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) recently plummeted to 14.21%. GBTC has historically traded at a high premium to the underlying Bitcoin, averaging 15.02% since the fund started.
However, competition grows, and companies create cheaper and more accurate financial products. For that reason, the appeal of GBTC has dropped dramatically and what happened to its premium proves this.
In December, investors were willing to pay a hefty premium to gain exposure to the main cryptocurrency. This caused a huge spike in inflows, leading GBTC’s share number to soar to 692 million. However, the fund does not allow conversions or redemptions, that is, it is only possible to create the shares but not to destroy them.
This situation did not cause any problems when the demand of the GBTC market allowed a continuous increase in its supply. However, as Bitcoin’s recovery is now lagging, there is a glaring imbalance between supply and demand. Profiting institutions make this situation even worse as their six-month HODL periods are ending.
Why the Appeal of GBTC Has Decreased
The decline in the appeal of GBTC has to do primarily with the above. However, due to the launch of Bitcoin-based financial products and exchange-traded funds, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s premium has continued to decrease.
In early 2021, major investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley began offering Bitcoin futures products. Even asset management giant Fidelity applied to create its own Bitcoin ETF.
Sky-high administration fees and massive slippages spoil the fund’s credibility. For that reason, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust will undoubtedly lose to newer, more efficient funds.
The president of the advisory firm ETF Store, Nate Geraci, gave his opinion on the matter. He said that “the unpleasant truth for GBTC investors is that competition erodes demand for the product.” Furthermore, he explained that “it can lead to a collapsed premium or even a downfall.”
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust still holds the title as the largest Bitcoin fund, with an estimated AUM of USD 11 billion. However, it appears that it is only a matter of time before the fund becomes obsolete. Grayscale must rethink a few things in order not to lose ground, particularly in the face of a market as competitive as Bitcoin.
By Alexander Salazar