Grayscale Investments, the company behind the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC), announced Tuesday that it had opened four new investment products that provide investors with exposure to cryptocurrencies in a more familiar wrapper.
The new funds — the Ethereum Investment Trust, Ripple Investment Trust, Bitcoin Cash Investment Trust, and Litecoin Investment Trust — will each hold positions in a single cryptocurrency.
“We are thrilled to expand Grayscale’s offerings to meet rising investor demand,” said Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s managing director, in a media release. “Our team is committed to bridging the gap between the global investment community and the digital currency asset class. We remain focused on product creation and will continue to launch more single-asset and diversified products to provide exposure where investors are looking for it.”
Like Grayscale’s other products, these new trusts will be offered in a private placement to accredited investors who purchase a minimum of $10,000 worth of shares and submit to a one-year vesting period.
Eventually, the trust sponsor will likely seek to list these shares on publicly-quoted over-the-counter (OTC) platforms, as it already has with the Bitcoin Investment Trust. Once shares are publicly-quoted, they have more liquidity and can also be purchased through retail brokerage accounts — though often at a steep premium over the value of the underlying assets.
Though anathema to many financial analysts due to its heavy premium on the secondary market, the Bitcoin Investment Trust has proven to be extremely popular among both buyers who are nervous to hold cryptoassets directly and investors who desire to gain exposure to Bitcoin through tax-advantaged retirement accounts.
Prior to GBTC’s recent stock split — a move that made the trust even more appealing to retail investors — the trust was among the most-purchased assets on investing app Stockpile, which allows investors to purchase fractional shares of expensive stocks.
Altogether, Grayscale now offers eight different cryptocurrency investment products, including the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust and Zcash Investment Trust.
Last month, Grayscale launched the “Digital Large Cap Fund,” a cryptocurrency index fund that holds market cap-weighted positions in the five largest cryptocurrencies. Each of these cryptocurrencies is now available in standalone funds, meaning that — once they are publicly-quoted — investors could invest in the large cap fund but short any of the individual assets on which they were bearish.
Aside from GBTC, however, these products are currently available exclusively through private placement.
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