Contrarian investors who exhibited foresight by acquiring shares in Grayscale Investment’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) back in January, during a gloomy period for the crypto market, have been handsomely rewarded. GBTC shares have surged by an impressive 220% to reach $26.79 this year. It outperformed even the best-performing S&P 500 stock, Nvidia Corp, which has risen by 198%.

GBTC Market Performance Amid Optimism

Grayscale’s GBTC has particularly flourished due to growing hopes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granting approval for the conversion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an open-ended exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on Bitcoin.

This optimism has significantly narrowed the discount in GBTC shares relative to the trust’s net-asset value (NAV) from 46% earlier this year to 13%.

In addition, to capitalize on this trend, traders have been purchasing GBTC shares while simultaneously hedging downside risk by selling Bitcoin in the spot/futures market. The expectation is that once the conversion is approved, market makers will align the price with the NAV.

Unlocking Value for Investors

GBTC Investors Reap 220% Gains as SEC Nears ETF Conversion Approval

Ilan Solot, co-head of digital assets at Marex Solutions, praised GBTC as “the gift that keeps giving”. He congratulated those who capitalized on the narrowing spread against the futures. The strategy, aimed at profiting from the shrinking GBTC discount, may have initially capped gains in Bitcoin.

However, with the discount rapidly diminishing and the SEC’s ETF conversion approval seeming more likely, traders could unwind this strategy. As a result, the downward pressure on Bitcoin may wane, providing further support to its spot price.

Spot ETF Rumors and Market Expectations

The recent rise in Bitcoin’s value to above $35,000 has been driven by rumors of a potential spot-based ETF, including BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF, IBTC, appearing on the clearing house DTCC’s website. Market expectations are now centered on the SEC approving several spot-based ETFs early next year.

Further, while many anticipate Bitcoin’s value to surge to $50,000 and beyond post-ETF approval, it is important to note that this financialization could introduce additional selling pressure to the market.

GBTC investors who took a contrarian approach by acquiring shares earlier this year are now reaping significant rewards. Their holdings are outperforming many traditional assets. As the SEC moves closer to potential ETF conversion approval, the narrowing GBTC discount and growing optimism are not only benefiting investors but also influencing trading strategies within the crypto market.

Lastly, the impending ETF approval, while bullish, also poses the possibility of market complexities that investors will need to navigate.

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Tanishi is an established writer in the realm of cryptocurrency and blockchain, renowned for her expertise and insightful analysis. With a deep-rooted passion for the dynamic world of digital finance, Tanishi delivers compelling news and articles that captivate a wide-ranging audience.