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The idea of cryptocurrency as an investment asset is still quite new, and fear of the unknown is unfortunately keeping some investors from putting their money into Bitcoin (BTC) despite a strong interest in this new asset class. One investment firm is trying to assuage investors’ apprehensions by creating a Bitcoin Investment Trust, which allows people to speculate on the changing values of BTC without actually owning any Bitcoins themselves.
Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust
The company behind this new investment product, first created in 2015, is Grayscale Investments,
and the trust (GBTC) currently has just under 1.5 million outstanding shares with a market capitalization
of $62.6 million USD. The minimum investment to purchase shares of the trust is $25,000. This investment
represents the first ever publicly quoted security which derives its value solely from the value of BTC.
The value of the investment trust tracks the price of Bitcoin, and as such is subject to the same volatility and large potential gains (and losses), but without the hassle of buying the actual digital currency and storing it securely. This may also be an appealing alternative to some investors who are concerned about liquidity and the long time it may take to open and close a position in BTC in some cases.
News broke on March 29 of a major investment bank and asset management
firm publishing a report stating that the current trading prices for Bitcoin (BTC) are roughly
$200 below its actual value. Needham & Company’s report used method for approximating the true
value of Bitcoins that might come as a surprise to many who are interested in cryptocurrencies: using gold prices.
One of the paradigm-shifting features of Bitcoin (and more or less all cryptocurrencies, for that matter) is that they have no underlying assets to give them inherent value. So the idea of using gold to determine a true market value for BTC is a very creative approach to a complicated, ethereal problem.
Bitcoin’s actual market value estimated at $655
The reasoning goes like this: around 75% of the total market capitalization for BTC is treated
as an investment. Comparing that percentage to the amount of capital invested in gold ETFs (exchange-traded funds),
the investment market cap of Bitcoin is equal to about 6% of the $74 billion worth of gold in ETFs. Thus, the
authors of the report conclude that the actual market value based on speculative market interest is $655.
Based on today’s prices of just over $400, BTC is currently being undervalued by 58%!
The authors of Needham & Co.’s report also mention an investment trust for Bitcoins, which allows investors treat BTC as a speculative investment without actually holding the asset.
The Bitcoin community has been having some problems
with constructive debate and reaching consensus about the future of their
beloved cryptocurrency. Much of this discord boiled down to whether the transaction
capacity of the blockchain (the public digital ledger where all BTC transactions are
verified and recorded) should be increased because of concerns that the limits of
the technology are going to be reached sooner rather than later.
Who invented Bitcoin?
Nakamoto had a P2P Foundation profile where he claimed to be a 37 year old Japanese male. Many people believe that he/she/they are not actually Japanese because the Bitcoin software was not documented or labeled in Japanese.
Based on the use of British spelling and reference to a British journal in the original software publication, some believe that the creator of Bitcoin is actually from the United Kingdom. Other writing samples containing American spelling has led others to believe that Satoshi Nakamoto is a group of individuals and not one person working alone.