The Impact of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Sales on the Bitcoin Market

Posted on 23/01/2024 | 617 Views

The recent performance of Bitcoin (BTC), particularly following the January 11 debut of U.S.-based spot Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), has been influenced by notable sales from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). As of January 19, GBTC's holdings had decreased to approximately 567,000 Bitcoin, a drop from nearly 620,000 before the launch of the spot ETFs. This decline in holdings coincides with the new spot ETFs attracting over 94,000 Bitcoin and amassing AU$ 5.93 billion (US$ 3.9 billion) in assets under management.

One significant factor contributing to this shift is the higher management fee of GBTC. This has led to speculation that some of the 53,000 Bitcoin shift to the new, lower-cost ETFs might be from existing GBTC investors.

However, a recent CoinDesk report brought another dimension to light. It revealed that the bankruptcy estate of the defunct crypto exchange FTX sold its entire GBTC holding of 22 million shares (equivalent to almost 20,000 Bitcoin) for close to AU$ 1.52 billion (US$ 1 billion). This sale accounts for more than one-third of the total GBTC sell-off.

From a market perspective, this is seen as a bullish signal. Firstly, a significant portion of GBTC's selling pressure came from a single non-economic entity. Secondly, it implies that there has been an influx of nearly AU$ 1.52 billion (US$ 1 billion) more in fresh investment into the new spot ETFs than initially assumed.

The AU$ 1.52 billion (US$ 1 billion) worth of GBTC sales by the FTX estate means that the inflows into the new ETFs were not just recycled funds from GBTC. Despite these insights, sellers currently maintain an advantage in the Bitcoin market, with the price showing a 2.8% decrease over the past 24 hours, standing at around AU$ 61,408 (US$ 40,400).

It's in these calmer moments that the most strategic investments are often made, capitalising on the market's natural ebb and flow.


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