Whether a potential sell-off of shares tied to a multi-billion dollar Bitcoin (BTC) investment fund could crash the cryptocurrency’s spot prices has turned into a hotly debated topic among the analysts in the space.
Grayscale’s premium remains negative for months
The argument concerns Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the world’s largest digital assets manager that allows institutional investors to gain indirect exposure in the Bitcoin market through its product, GBTC. Investors purchase GBTC shares directly via Grayscale in daily private placements by paying in either Bitcoin or the U.S. dollar.
Nevertheless, investors can sell their GBTC shares only after a six-month lockup period in secondary markets to other parties. Therefore, they anticipate liquidating at a premium when the market price at the time of sale crosses above the native asset value (NAV).
On the other hand, liquidating GBTC shares when the market price has dipped below the NAV brings losses. So if investors decide to dump their GBTC holdings, they would have to do so for a financial casualty. That is because the share has been trading at a discount, i.e., under its NAV, since February 24, 2021.
Some analysts, including strategists at JPMorgan, believe that accredited investors will sell at least a portion of their GBTC holdings after the July unlocking period, thus weighing further on the ongoing Bitcoin market downtrend.
“Despite this week’s correction, we are reluctant to abandon our negative outlook for Bitcoin and crypto markets more generally. So despite some improvement, our signals remain overall bearish,” said Nikolas Panigirtzoglou, the lead strategist at JPMorgan, in a note to clients.
Nevertheless, other analysts believe that the event will flush sellers from the market in July, opening up both volatility and bullish potential to break new all-time highs.