Besides the macroeconomic headwinds, when it comes to crypto, there are two main concerns at the moment: Binance and DCG. The situation surrounding Genesis Trading, Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Grayscale, which is still unresolved after a month, is depressing the market sentiment around Bitcoin.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, information has now leaked out again which might be a double-edged sword for investors. Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein said the company would explore new options to return a portion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s capital to shareholders, as the GBTC currently trades at a record 49% discount to net asset value (NAV).
That option is up for debate if the company fails to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an exchange-traded fund, according to a letter to investors.
As reported by WSJ, the option could include a tender offer for up to 20% of the trust’s $10.7 billion outstanding shares. A tender offer would be a direct appeal to shareholders to sell their shares at a specified price within a specified time period.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has repeatedly rejected Grayscale’s applications to convert GBTC into a spot ETF, which is why Sonnenshein may now be considering the move. In June, Grayscale sued the SEC just hours after its ETF application was rejected. Last week, the SEC responded to the lawsuit for the first time, reiterating its position in a filing.
Grayscale accuses the SEC of double standards by allowing futures ETFs on the market and repeatedly rejecting proposals for ETFs that invest in spot Bitcoin. The SEC’s rationale is that futures ETFs are closely monitored by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In contrast, spot Bitcoin ETFs lack this level of government oversight, the plea states.
What a partial sell-off of GBTC would mean for the market remains to be seen due to a lack of detailed information on the framework. But the breakup of GBTC, which holds more than 643,000 BTC, is among investors’ biggest concerns.
Meanwhile, Sonnenshein emphasized:
Grayscale products, including GBTC, remain safe, secure, and unencumbered. We remain steadfast in our belief that the conversion of GBTC to an ETF is in the best interest of investors, and we remain 100% committed to that endeavor.
Bitcoin Price Sits Above $16,700
Despite the news, the Bitcoin price held steady above $16,700 at press time. As recently as Friday, the broader crypto market experienced a sell-off after rumors surfaced that DCG might sell assets such as NEAR, Filecoin, and Ethereum Classic on a larger scale.
However, apart from falling prices, there was no evidence to back this up. Nevertheless, there were some crypto Twitter analysts speculating about a sell-off by Grayscale’s parent company.
Several crypto coins related to Barry Silbert’s DCG have been selling off aggressively this evening (FIL, ZEN, ETC, NEAR), leaving many speculators to wonder whether the selling is derived from DCG itself. pic.twitter.com/M9mkQrEI7q
— Will Clemente (@WClementeIII) December 16, 2022
At press, the Bitcoin price was sitting at $16,720. Thus, BTC is at a critical level. Bitcoin needs to break through $16,900 and start a continuation to above $17,300. If there is no breakout, then the $16,200 and $15,500 regions should provide support.