Categories: Bitcoin Business

Is Bitcoin Investment Trust a Buy?

Click here to view original web page at www.fool.com

Bitcoin was the investing story of 2017, with prices of the cryptocurrency soaring into the stratosphere. That success lured many bitcoin investors into the market at what proved to be a short-term top, and since the beginning of the year, bitcoin has lost about half its value and is down more than 65% from its highest levels. Some see bitcoin's pullback as proof that the cryptocurrency craze is over, while others think it could represent yet another in a long line of buying opportunities following major pullbacks.

Many investors are nervous about trying to invest directly in bitcoin, given the high-profile hackings of several major bitcoin exchanges over the years. The Bitcoin Investment Trust (NASDAQOTH:GBTC) offers an alternative method of investing in cryptocurrency, making it possible to buy shares of an entity that itself holds a substantial amount of bitcoin. Here, we'll take a closer look at Bitcoin Investment Trust to see if it's worth adding to your portfolio.

Image source: Getty Images.

What is Bitcoin Investment Trust?

Bitcoin Investment Trust is an entity that was established to give investors a way to get exposure to the bitcoin market without actually buying their own bitcoin. The trust itself owns a substantial amount of the cryptocurrency -- roughly 200,000 bitcoin currently. Each share of the trust works out to just under 0.001 bitcoin, meaning an equivalent net asset value of roughly $6.50 with bitcoin prices near $6,500 per token.

Grayscale Investment Trust is the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, and it charges shareholders an annual expense ratio in order to manage the fund. The current charge is 2% of assets, and because the trust's bitcoin holdings don't generate regular income for trust shareholders, Grayscale has the ability to liquidate bitcoin in order to pay itself its fee. That's the reason why over time, each share of the trust will be equivalent to a decreasing amount of bitcoin, as fees eat into the trust's principal assets.

The benefits of Bitcoin Investment Trust

For many investors, being able to invest in bitcoin through the Bitcoin Investment Trust is worth paying a fairly expensive fee. The trust sponsor deals with all of the mechanics of investing in bitcoin, including obtaining cryptocurrency tokens, holding them in safekeeping, and then making any future transactions as necessary. Investing in the trust is as easy as buying or selling shares when the stock market is open, and that has real advantages over the lengthening processing times involved in handling actual changes of ownership in bitcoin tokens themselves.

In addition, investing in Bitcoin Investment Trust allows investors to keep their holdings in both bitcoin and stocks together in one brokerage account. If you buy bitcoin directly, you typically have to use cryptocurrency exchanges that don't offer regular stock trading, forcing you to have two accounts and deal with the challenges involved in moving money between them.

The main downside of Bitcoin Investment Trust

The primary disadvantage of Bitcoin Investment Trust is that the share price of the trust doesn't necessarily mirror what the actual bitcoin market is doing. For instance, shares of the trust right now trade at between $8.50 and $9. That price is more than 30% higher than the actual value of the bitcoin within the trust that each share represents. In essence, for every $1.30 you invest in the trust right now, you're only getting $1 worth of bitcoin.

Believe it or not, this actually isn't unusual for the Bitcoin Investment Trust. Trust shares traded at more than double the price of the trust's underlying bitcoin at times, although occasionally, they've fallen close to parity between share prices and bitcoin value. There's simply no guarantee that on any given day, prevailing prices for the shares will be anywhere close to what the bitcoin market would suggest they should be worth.

Give Bitcoin Investment Trust a pass

Even with the greater convenience that a trust whose shares are tradable has over actual bitcoin token ownership, paying a more than 30% premium to own Bitcoin Investment Trust shares is excessive. With it increasingly apparent that bitcoin ETFs are on the horizon, you'll likely have a better opportunity in the near future from them than you'd get from Bitcoin Investment Trust.

Bitcoin is overhyped: 10 better buys for you now
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and investing directly in Bitcoin was noticeably absent from their recommendations! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are better buys.

*Stock Advisor returns as of August 23, 2018

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks or cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks or cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

This Stock Could be like Buying Netflix for $1.87We think the second-wave of the cord-cutting revolution is just beginning. And if you missed your chance to get in on Netflix early...then you are going to want to see this.

Because Motley Fool Co-Founder, David Gardner, has been following the cord-cutting revolution for years. David first recommended that members of Motley Fool Stock Advisor buy Netflix in 2004.

And Netflix stock rode the first wave of the cord-cutting revolution to massive gains. Investors who bought Netflix on the date when David first recommended it turned every $1,000 invested into nearly $145,050!

And that's why some savvy investors are sprinting to take advantage today. Because cord-cutting may finally be going mainstream.

And our experts think it's setting up an incredible opportunity for one tiny American company.

cinerama

Illuminati, Mason, Anonymous I'll never tell. I can tell you this, global power is shifting and those who have the new intelligence are working to acquire this new force. You matter naught except to yourself, therefore prepare for the least expected and make your place in the new world order.

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
cinerama

Recent Posts

  • Bitcoin Business

Donald Trump’s bitcoin takedown signals global currency war

US President Donald Trump’s tweet attacking bitcoin ( BTC-USD ) highlights his increasing interest in controlling global currency markets —… Read More

4 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

Iran Legalizes Crypto-Mining As “Official Industry”

After weeks of uncertainty, the Iranian government’s Economic Commission has approved a mechanism of cryptocurrency mining in the country, according… Read More

4 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

Bullish For Bitcoin? Trump Turns Up Pressure on Federal Reserve to Cut Interest Rates

President Trump is continuing to pressure the Federal Reserve for dragging its feet on interest rate cuts. For some, such… Read More

4 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

Blockchain Center’s grand opening attracts local, international leaders

Pictured (l-r) are Eryka Gemma, Nick Spanos, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and Scott Spiegel. (Photo credit: World Red Eye) Blockchain… Read More

4 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

Bitcoin buyers beware

by Mike Connon As advisors, we typically advise families to take a patient, long-term approach to investing in the market,… Read More

4 hours ago
  • Bitcoin Business

Facebook’s Libra currency spawns a wave of fakes, including on Facebook itself

Facebook's Libra currency is not yet available for public use. But that hasn't stopped people from attempting to get money… Read More

4 hours ago

This website uses cookies. We use these cookies to collect data about your interaction with our website for the purpose of continuously improving your experience with our site. For more information we encourage you to read our privacy policy.

Read More