Grayscale Bitcoin Premium Flips Negative as BTC Stays Below $50,000

The largest public bitcoin trust is facing an unusual situation: Its share price is dropping faster than the underlying cryptocurrency.

  • Historically, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) trades at a premium to bitcoin (BTC) itself. But that premium turned into a discount this week, with GBTC closing at a price nearly 4% lower than the market value of the underlying asset on Thursday.
  • In mid-December, GBTC shares traded at more than a 35% premium, according to data from YCharts, a reminder that price action for GBTC doesn’t perfectly match bitcoin’s own price action by any means.
  • NOTE: Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk’s parent company.
  • Grayscale’s bitcoin trust isn’t the only one trading at a discount, however. 3iQ’s Canadian Bitcoin Fund (QBTC), although a smaller fund than Grayscale, was also trading at a roughly 4% discount to its underlying asset, according to market data from CryptoQuant.
  • GBTC and QBTC are trading at discounts as bitcoin itself is selling off, dropping to below $45,000 Friday afternoon before slightly recovering to above $48,000.
  • At last check, BTC was trading at $46,877, based on CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, with a year-to-date gain just below 60%.
  • Analysts have speculated the shrinking premium might be due to reduced demand for bitcoin, or due to increasing competition among providers of bitcoin-focused exchange-traded products.

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