Digital Currency Group Inc. (DCG), a major bitcoin and blockchain investment firm, has announced plans to purchase an additional $557 million in shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).
This increases DCG’s holdings of GBTC shares from $193.5 million, as of April 30, to roughly $750 million.
DCG clarified that the ultimate timing and size of its investment would depend on the price of the shares, the cash it had available on hand, and market conditions. There are at least three reasons why this latest buy could be extremely beneficial.
Response to a growing demand
First, the arrangement appears to be in response to a growing demand for market-level cryptocurrency investments, which could prove to be lucrative for DCG. In March, Grayscale announced the launch of five new digital currency investment trusts.
Additionally in April, Grayscale disclosed $46.1 billion in assets under management (AUM) for 14 cryptocurrency-related products. Of these, its bitcoin trust, GBTC, represented the bulk of the figure at $38.1 billion.
Second, the plans may also be driven in anticipation of launching a future exchange-traded fund (ETF), which could prove to be more profitable for both DCG and Grayscale. Grayscale has already declared its intentions to covert GBTC into an ETF if regulators permit it to do so.
It has already submitted an application for a bitcoin (BTC) ETF to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Conversion to an ETF at this time would make GBTC the biggest cryptocurrency ETF in the world.
The investment may also allay some concerns in the market about alleged inflated premiums charged by Grayscale for the use of the GBTC product. Currently, the GBTC set up by Grayscale remains one of the few alternatives for investors who want to trade bitcoin but don’t want to deal with issues of actualy holding the asset.