Cryptocurrency fund investment manager Grayscale Investments, a subsidiary of Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, is rumoured to have purchased as much as one-third of all of the new Bitcoins that have been mined over three months preceding the Bitcoin halving that took place on May 12th.
Indeed, a researcher going by the name of ‘parakite’ posted on Reddit that Grayscale added 60,762 BTC to its Bitcoin Trust fund between February 7th and May 17th, adding that “these coins are locked for 6 months,” implying that they won’t be sold for at least half a year.
”Institutional money has arrived.”
Twitter user Kevin Rooke expanded on parakite’s findings in a Tweet explaining that the average weekly Bitcoin investment by Grayscale had increased nearly tenfold from $3.2 million per week in Q1 2019 to $29.9 per week million in Q1 2020: “Institutional money has arrived,” Rooke wrote.̧
Parakite also noted that “the rate of acquiring bitcoin in [the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)] has actually accelerated after April, as you can see above in the table.”
“However, even at the rate of 600 bitcoins per day that GBTC has bought every day for [the] last 100 days, the GBTC is buying Bitcoins equal to 2/3rd of all supply of newly minted Bitcoin,” the Reddit user wrote.
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And Grayscale’s aggressive Bitcoin acquisition may be continuing to accelerate: in response to Kevin Rooke’s Tweet posting the details of parakite’s findings, Grayscale founder Barry Silbert responded: “just wait until you see Q2.”
just wait until you see Q2…
— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) May 23, 2020
The increase in the amount of BTC purchases could indicate increased institutional interest in Bitcoin, according to Bitcoin.com; after all, Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust allows institutional investors to gain exposure to assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum without having to own them directly.
Therefore, each of Grayscale’s crypto-related investment funds must be comprised of a certain percentage of cryptocoins; if more institutional investors are buying into the funds, each of the funds must hold proportionally more coins.
This could also explain some of the other hefty purchases that Grayscale has been observed making this year: for example, Reddit user ‘nootropicat’ posted findings at the end of April 2020 showing that Grayscale had purchased roughly 48.4% of all the ETH tokens mined in 2020.