Shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, a popular investment vehicle for institutional investors seeking exposure to Bitcoin, are now trading at the lowest discount to the cryptocurrency in the fund’s history.
According to data from Y Charts, GBTC’s discount plummeted to -47.27% on Thursday as investor confidence in the investment vehicle dipped amid market turmoil. (GBTC was covered extensively in Tuesday’s Unchained on Genesis and DCG.)
GBTC has been popular among investors looking to profit from the volatility of Bitcoin without directly investing in it. The fund, managed by crypto investment giant Grayscale, one of the largest public holders of Bitcoin, allows investors to purchase shares correlated to the value of Grayscale’s significant supply of the cryptocurrency.
Previously the fund traded at a premium, attracting arbitrage traders, many of whom blew up around February 2021 as the premium evaporated. Funds like GBTC typically trade at a discount to the underlying “net asset value,” or NAV, when there are more shares on the market than people are willing to buy.
GBTC’s shares have not recovered since. This is especially tricky for long-term investors in the fund who would have likely purchased their shares at the premium, where it traded for the better part of the last five years.
Uncertainty surrounding Grayscale’s parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG) has likely triggered more bearish sentiment in recent weeks, causing the discount to widen further. DCG subsidiary Genesis’s lending arm triggered fears when it halted withdrawals on Nov. 16, citing unprecedented market volatility following FTX’s collapse.
Genesis delivered more bad news on Wednesday. The firm’s interim CEO Derar Islim told investors that the withdrawal freeze would likely take weeks to resolve, in a letter seen by CoinDesk.
Grayscale also faces a lawsuit filed by hedge fund Fir Tree earlier this week. Fir Tree is alleging potential mismanagement and conflicts of interest by Grayscale and hopes to compel the fund to resume redemptions.