By CCN: Digital asset investment firm Grayscale Investments, which boasts $1.2 billion in AUM, has received regulatory approval for another cryptocurrency product to be traded in the secondary market. FINRA, which is a self-regulatory organization, has given its stamp of approval to the Grayscale Ethereum Trust for the over-the-counter (OTC) markets under the trading symbol ETHE.
While this investment vehicle launched back in 2017 during the last bull run, it was limited to institutional and accredited investors in private transactions requiring a minimum investment of a whopping $25,000. The FINRA approval creates the opportunity for individual investors to now capture the opportunity as well. Grayscale Managing Director Michael Sonnenshein told Bloomberg:
"The secondary market really opens up the opportunity for any and all investors."
Our team continues to bring new opportunities for investors to gain exposure to digital currencies. We’re pleased to share that Grayscale Ethereum Trust received FINRA approval for a public quotation on @OTCMarkets under symbol: $ETHE* https://t.co/SQPBI8CjrQ (1/2)
— Grayscale (@GrayscaleInvest) May 23, 2019
FINRA Approval Expands the Net for Retail Investor Adoption
Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary, Grayscale's Head of Sales and Business Development, told CCN:
“We are very excited about receiving FINRA approval for Grayscale Ethereum Trust. As the largest digital currency asset manager, Grayscale continues to bring new opportunities for investors to gain exposure to digital currencies.”
It's a boon for an industry that is increasingly gaining the right kind of attention from regulators that has the potential to unlock sidelined capital into the space. Not only that, but it's also a win for Ethereum, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. It means that retail investors can now gain exposure to ETH in their retirement and brokerage accounts, as Bloomberg points out. It's a sign that cryptocurrencies are increasingly making their way into the mainstream even if it's happening at a snail's pace.
ETHE Gets Its Value from the Ethereum Price
The value of the Grayscale Ethereum Trust is based on the Ethereum price, the latter of which has seen its value expand by some 80% year-to-date. It will give investors the opportunity to capture some of the gains that ETH has been achieving in 2019 "without the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping Ethereum," according to the announcement, which goes on to state:
"As of April 30, 2019, each Share of ETHE represents ownership of 0.09662399 Ethereum. "
In addition to the Ethereum trust, Grayscale's bitcoin and Ethereum Classic trust products are also open to institutional and retail investors. Investors can expect to begin buying and selling ETHE via their "investment accounts in the same manner as they would other unregistered OTC securities" in approximately two weeks.