Bitcoin
BTC$18 917.31

-1.02%

Ethereum
ETH$1 298.77

-3.27%

Tether
USDT$1.000070

0%

USD Coin
USDC$1.000058

0.01%

Binance Coin
BNB$274.90

-1.14%

XRP
XRP$0.501984

0.54%

Is Bitcoin in danger of losing $30K with Grayscale's big GBTC unlocking in two weeks?


06 Jul 2021

#Bitcoin

Bitcoin prices remain under pressure in the $30,000-$40,000 zone as traders brace for the 16,000 BTC worth of GBTC shares unlocking in July. Whether a potential sell-off of shares tied to a multi-billion dollar Bitcoin (BTC) investment fund could crash the cryptocurrency's spot prices has turned into a hotly debated topic among the analysts in the space.

Grayscale's premium remains negative for months 

The argument concerns Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the world's largest digital assets manager that allows institutional investors to gain indirect exposure in the Bitcoin market through its product, GBTC. Investors purchase GBTC shares directly via Grayscale in daily private placements by paying in either Bitcoin or the U.S. dollar.

Nevertheless, investors can sell their GBTC shares only after a six-month lockup period in secondary markets to other parties. Therefore, they anticipate liquidating at a premium when the market price at the time of sale crosses above the native asset value (NAV).

On the other hand, liquidating GBTC shares when the market price has dipped below the NAV brings losses. So if investors decide to dump their GBTC holdings, they would have to do so for a financial casualty. That is because the share has been trading at a discount, i.e., under its NAV, since February 24, 2021. Some analysts, including strategists at JPMorgan, believe that accredited investors will sell at least a portion of their GBTC holdings after the July unlocking period, thus weighing further on the ongoing Bitcoin market downtrend.

“Despite this week’s correction, we are reluctant to abandon our negative outlook for Bitcoin and crypto markets more generally. So despite some improvement, our signals remain overall bearish," said Nikolas Panigirtzoglou, the lead strategist at JPMorgan, in a note to clients.

Nevertheless, other analysts believe that the event will flush sellers from the market in July, opening up both volatility and bullish potential to break new all-time highs.

Is Bitcoin price correlated to Grayscale unlock dates? 

It is the GBTC shares that were scooped up by investors at around 40% premium in December 2020, explained Panigirtzoglou. The month saw Grayscale Bitcoin Trust attractive inflows of $2 billion, followed by $1.7 billion in January. That means about 140,000 Bitcoin worth of shares will get unlocked by the end of July. About 139,000 Bitcoin have already been released between mid-April to mid-June, a period that also coincided with spot BTC/USD's crash from around $65,000 to as low as $28,800.

Lyn Alden, the founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy, noted the correlation between the spot Bitcoin price crash and its Grayscale's GBTC unlocking periods, noting that the same could happen as more shares get unlocked in July. Alden hinted that the correlation pointed to a deceleration of Grayscale's "neutral arbitrage trade."

In arbitrage trade, institutional investors (like hedge funds) borrow Bitcoin to purchase GBTC shares. Then, after the lock-up expires, these investors sell GBTC shares to secondary markets to retail investors, typically for a premium. Then, they return the borrowed Bitcoin to their lenders and pocket the difference.

"Part of the run-up in the second half of 2020 was due to the Grayscale neutral arbitrage trade, sucking in a ton of bitcoin," Alden tweeted late Monday, adding: "When ETFs and other new ways to access bitcoin made GBTC less unique, the premium went away, so the neutral arb trade went away."

But, according to David Lifchitz of ExoAlpha, arbitrage strategy might have contributed to but did not cause the Bitcoin price plunge. The chief investment officer noted that the real GBTC arbitrage trade strategy is for investors with deep pockets. That is because they would require to hold the short Bitcoin position during the GBTC lockup period — the overtime costs would risk offsetting the price differential that was arbitrage away.

"And for the simple buyers of GBTC shares at a discount vs. BTC who didn't sell short BTC against, their profit depends on the price at which they bought GBTC: if they bought between $40K and $60K, they are in the red today... and may not want to sell just yet and lock-in their loss," he told Cointelegraph.

Michael Sonnenshein, the chief executive of Grayscale, told Barron's that investors buy the GBTC shares with a medium- to long-term outlook. So they might not want to dump their holdings immediately upon its unlocking.

Sonnenshein added: “I would generally say that investors certainly are going to think about where the price of the shares is, relative to net asset value or relative to Bitcoin before they would think about getting any liquidity.” 


Related

The crypto market has taken a hiatus from the sell-off
The crypto market has taken a hiatus from the sell-off
Crypto bears confirmed their strength
Crypto bears confirmed their strength
The crypto market has taken a step up but has not yet fly
The crypto market has taken a step up but has not yet fly
Cryptocurrencies: Main Week of the Calendar
Cryptocurrencies: Main Week of the Calendar
Is Bitcoin heading to $15K? Why are the markets suddenly pulling back?
Is Bitcoin heading to $15K? Why are the markets suddenly pulling back?
Crypto market's fragile stability
Crypto market's fragile stability
Bugatti Sports Car for 1 BTC: a Pipe Dream or Reality?
Bugatti Sports Car for 1 BTC: a Pipe Dream or Reality?
The crypto market tests the strength of buyers
The crypto market tests the strength of buyers
Bitcoin seeks support
Bitcoin seeks support

Top Cryptocurrencies with Price Predictions

# Crypto Prediction Accuracy CVIX Price 24h 7d Market Cap 7d price change
1 Bitcoin (BTC) BTC Bitcoin predictions 80.8% 26 $18 917.31 -1.02% -4.11% $362 463 667 283 BTC 7 days price change
2 Ethereum (ETH) ETH Ethereum predictions 71.6% 54 $1 298.77 -3.27% -6.06% $159 129 662 025 ETH 7 days price change
3 Tether (USDT) USDT Tether predictions 95.6% 1 $1.000070 0% 0% $67 959 486 248 USDT 7 days price change
4 USD Coin (USDC) USDC USD Coin predictions 96% 1 $1.000058 0.01% 0% $49 596 112 733 USDC 7 days price change
5 Binance Coin (BNB) BNB Binance Coin predictions 88% 15 $274.90 -1.14% 0.65% $44 352 122 648 BNB 7 days price change
6 XRP (XRP) XRP XRP predictions 61.6% 74 $0.501984 0.54% 26.46% $25 023 258 974 XRP 7 days price change
7 Binance USD (BUSD) BUSD Binance USD predictions 96% 1 $1.000777 0.03% 0.03% $20 533 202 140 BUSD 7 days price change
8 Cardano (ADA) ADA Cardano predictions 83.2% 32 $0.449897 -2.32% -3.88% $15 400 494 496 ADA 7 days price change
9 Solana (SOL) SOL Solana predictions 80.8% 28 $32.71 -3.79% 0.84% $11 601 976 269 SOL 7 days price change
10 Lido stETH (STETH) STETH Lido stETH predictions 95.6% 1 $2 941.39 -0.40% -3.32% $10 258 752 564 STETH 7 days price change
11 Dogecoin (DOGE) DOGE Dogecoin predictions 85.6% 14 $0.061846 -3.69% 3.13% $8 205 146 170 DOGE 7 days price change
12 Polkadot (DOT) DOT Polkadot predictions 78.8% 41 $6.23 -3.04% -8.15% $6 984 955 644 DOT 7 days price change
13 Dai (DAI) DAI Dai predictions 90.8% 1 $0.999539 -0.04% -0.04% $6 927 324 765 DAI 7 days price change
14 Polygon (MATIC) MATIC Polygon predictions 73.6% 55 $0.749357 -2.69% -5.72% $6 545 118 739 MATIC 7 days price change
15 SHIBA INU (SHIB) SHIB SHIBA INU predictions 79.2% 42 $0.000011 -3.43% -2.78% $6 126 642 475 SHIB 7 days price change

Be the first to receive Cryptocurrency Price Predictions and Forecasts daily

Get cryptocurrency price predictions, forecasts with analysis and news right to your inbox.

© 2015-2022 Crypto-Rating.com

The usage of this website constitutes acceptance of the following legal information. Any contracts of financial instruments offered to conclude bear high risks and may result in the full loss of the deposited funds. Prior to making transactions one should get acquainted with the risks to which they relate. All the information featured on the website, including information about the cryptocurrencies and bitcoin is intended solely for informational purposes, is not a means of advertising them, and doesn't imply direct instructions for investing. Crypto Rating shall not be liable for any loss, including unlimited loss of funds, which may arise directly or indirectly from the usage of this information. The editorial staff of the website does not bear any responsibility whatsoever for the content of the comments or reviews made by the site users about cryptocurrencies. The entire responsibility for the contents rests with the authors. Reprint of the materials is available only with the permission of the editorial staff.