The massive gains in the GBTC (Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust) share value this year (508 percent) are not enough to get it through approval with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for trade on the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca exchange. While regulations are fast moving toward Bitcoin acceptance, the current SEC climate is not ready. According to the fund managers:
“Although digital currency market regulation continues to rapidly evolve, at this time Grayscale does not believe there have been enough regulatory developments to prompt the SEC to approve the application.”
The move may be wise, given the current regulatory climate the SEC has instituted. Recent changes in leadership notwithstanding, the general SEC tone toward cryptocurrencies and ICOs has been cautious.
Hurdles for Bitcoin
The withdrawal from the exchange identifies one of the major hurdles to acceptance of Bitcoin, namely the seemingly technical nature of the cryptocurrency. GBTC has sought to bring Bitcoin into the mainstream by helping investors to purchase Bitcoin but through the vehicle of something far more familiar - stocks.
Currently, GBTC is traded ‘over the counter’ - an insider term for trading on less formal exchange platforms. Nevertheless, fund shares trade at a dramatic premium to the Bitcoin the fund actually holds. GBTC closed at $739.50 per share yesterday, while each share holds approximately $375 in Bitcoin.