Grayscale Investments is offering investors an opportunity to invest in Bitcoin mining hardware in the bear market.
The new investment opportunity, called the Grayscale Digital Infrastructure Opportunities LLC (GDIO), is now open to qualified individual and institutional investors, even as the asset manager allows ETF-related court proceedings to run their course.
Grayscale putting capital to work
Grayscale will use investor capital from the GDIO to buy mining hardware for a minimum of three years. It will use the hardware to mine and subsequently sell bitcoin. Mining is the energy-intensive process undertaken by a computer network to create a new transaction block and verify it. The node in the network that creates the block is known as a miner. A miner is rewarded in bitcoin for his effort, which typically requires large amounts of cheap electricity and computing power.
Part of the proceeds Grayscale will earn from its efforts will be paid out quarterly to GDIO investors.
“Grayscale’s unique position at the center of the crypto ecosystem enables us to create offerings that allow investors to put capital to work through differing market cycles,” stated Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s chief executive.
GDIO represents another way the company has sought to provide investors with exposure to bitcoin without directly holding the asset.
Investors can also purchase shares from its GBTC trust and gain exposure to bitcoin through Grayscale’s legally regulated business in the U.S.
But Grayscale has a problem. Because investors cannot redeem shares in the trust for bitcoin, the price per share has dropped drastically, trading at a discount of 35% to its Net Asset Value.
At the close of the trading day on Oct. 5, shares were trading at a shade over $12, despite being backed by $18.45 worth of bitcoin.
To mitigate this discount, Grayscale has pursued the conversion of GBTC into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which has so far been unsuccessful. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission denied the company’s latest application in June 2022, prompting Grayscale to pursue legal action against the federal agency.
Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage public blockchain startups, said that Grayscale could wind down the ETF:
The SEC maintains that spot bitcoin ETFs are prone to underlying market manipulation.
Grayscale undeterred by SEC rejection
Despite consistent resistance from U.S. regulators, Grayscale launched its first European ETF in May 2022, which tracks the Bloomberg Grayscale Future of Finance Index, offering customers exposure to institutions at the crossroads of finance, technology, and cryptocurrencies.
Grayscale raised investors’ eyebrows recently when it announced that it had applied with the SEC to distribute 3 million ETHPoW tokens that were distributed to all Ethereum (ETH) holders after the controversial proof-of-work fork went live.
At the time, Grayscale said it was seeking the rights to sell the tokens and pay out shareholders.
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