Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust now reports to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), putting it one step closer to public trading.

The announcement

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust manages investment in Bitcoin on behalf of investors, exposing them to the coin’s potential for gains while mitigating risks. The Jan. 21 announcement advertises the trust as the first of its kind to report to the SEC. 

Grayscale’s full Form 10 is available here. Subsequent to this registration, the trust will need to file quarterly and annual reports with the SEC, which will then become publicly available. In response to an inquiry from Cointelegraph, Grayscale declined to specify just when it will file the first of these reports but said the firm will do so in accordance with SEC regulations.

A Grayscale representative clarified to Cointelegraph that Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is open to accredited investors during the Trust’s private placement periods for new shares. GBTC, however, is the public quotation symbol for the Trust’s shares traded among retail investors on the secondary market.

In the announcement, the firm makes particular mention of accredited investors — a controversial designation. Owning or purchasing shares from the Trust's private placement gives them the advantage of quicker liquidity with a reduced holding period of 6 months. 

Accredited investors

Grayscale’s announcement arrives as the SEC considers changes to its accredited investor designation, couched in the 1934 act’s Section 12(g)

Effectively, the SEC trusts the wealthy or executive class to invest with insight and thereby minimal risk. Conversely, the Main Street investor, the decades-old moniker assumes, lacks this insight. Under SEC exemptions companies may offer shares to accredited investors without filing all documents that the SEC requires of publicly-listed companies. Critics castigate this exemption as favorable to the rich while being exclusionary of everyday investors, whom former SEC commissioner Michael Piwowar dubbed “forgotten investors.”

UPDATE Jan. 22 21:00 UTC: This article has been updated with comments from a Grayscale representative shared with Cointelegraph after publication.