Bitcoin Investment Trust Shares Are Rising

Bitcoin Investment Trust Shares Are Rising

Bitcoin Investment Trust shares have recently grown compared to the time of their public debut several months ago.   Shares of Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCMKTS:GBTC) are trading at their highest premiums relative to their underlying Bitcoin value since shortly after their public debut in May 2015. In a short-term trading on Bitcoin Black Friday the shares closed higher by 11.96% at $47.00, catching up Bitcoin’s huge gains of skyrocketing 16% to $370 on Bitstamp from the day before. At the moment, each share represents approximately 0.0959 BTC. Bitcoin Black Friday’s closing price implies an underlying bitcoin value of $490, which is a 36% premium to the actual Bitcoin price of $359. Shares hit an intraday peak point of $51.50, their highest level since hitting $57.00 during Bitcoin’s jump to $500 earlier in the month. Premiums have been growing by implication of that jump, possibly a result of renewed investor appetite for one of the only regulated Bitcoin instruments available to the public. When the shares became publicly available in May 2015, investors initially paid premiums in excess of 100% to procure them. Afterwards, the shares quickly shed 80% of their premium, which has since typically hovered between 10% and 25%. When the Bitcoin recovery started to gain momentum in late October, GBTC failed to hold on. At various points, the shares actually traded below par for the first time in their publicly traded history. Subsequently, premiums reversed higher to well above typical levels, approaching 50% two weeks ago, and holding in the 35% to 40% range. Some of the notable movements in the GBTC premium value were in fact a result of delayed reactions by the shares to the...

When A Bitcoin Fund Is Born, There’s Still Some Bumps

An ETF-type investment, full of risks, is struggling for acceptance If you have an online brokerage account, you can now buy shares in a fund that aims to track the price of the digital currency called bitcoin. Just don’t expect a smooth ride. Bitcoin is a highly speculative investment—the kind most financial advisers say investors should only buy into with money they can afford to lose. But some analysts think the new fund could bring the digital currency a step closer to broader acceptance by investors. For that to happen, the fund will have to overcome some early difficulties. Bitcoin Investment Trust started trading on the OTCQX market on May 4 under the ticker symbol GBTC. It isn’t technically an exchange-traded fund, but it’s designed to work like one. (The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing an application for what would be the first official bitcoin ETF, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust.) Bitcoin Investment Trust is small, with a net asset value of only $35.6 million at the end of June and only 1.4 million shares outstanding. Its tracking of bitcoin’s price has been inconsistent, and there is a wide spread between the share price and the value of the underlying assets. Oh, and by the end of last month the share price had fallen 28% from its $42 close on the first day of trading, to $30.12. Sparking interest? Still, some analysts think the fund could prompt some speculative interest in bitcoin, like the launch of gold ETFs did in precious metals a decade ago. Gil Luria, an analyst with brokerage firm Wedbush Securities who has followed the bitcoin market since...

Major Payment Player, Worldpay, is Quietly Supporting Bitcoin

Does Worldpay support bitcoin and the blockchain?     The answer, according to senior vice president Chester Ritchie, depends on how you frame the question. Today, the £3.6bn payment processor isn’t doing anything internally with digital currency or the blockchain, he says, but like many payment services companies, it is interfacing with the industry in an effort to best serve merchant clients. “I don’t know how public it is,” Ritchie tells CoinDesk at Money20/20 in Las Vegas. “We do have partners that are doing something in their solution for bitcoin.” Ritchie said that bitcoin startups such as BitPay and Coinbase already plug into Worldpay’s payment gateways, through which small and large businesses can accept a variety of payment methods, from credit cards to boleto payments to bitcoin. As for his personal feelings toward the technology, Ritchie believes it “remains to be seen” whether bitcoin and the blockchain, the digital currency’s distributed ledger, can be leveraged to foster changes in Worldpay’s business model or the wider payments industry. For one, Ritchie acknowledges that the technology is becoming more widely thought of as a database or asset management innovation. Also, he believes that the industry has gradually moved toward these use cases as others, like payments, have proved problematic. “Is bitcoin the actual cryptocurrency that we think could impact payments?” he asks. “I’m still skeptical because of the limited number of bitcoins. People would rather hang on to them rather than spend, so I’m not sure it’s the perfect fit for a currency.” Industry observation Still, Ritchie is enthusiastic about the development space, even if it’s clear he views the technology as a...

eCoin.eu Trading Platform Integrates Social Media

eCoin is a trading platform that trades Bitcoin and Litecoin against USD exclusively. In an attempt to provide easier access to the platform, eCoin has recently implemented social media integration into their website. On top of this, eCoin now allows users to withdraw directly to their debit cards, increasing the level of convenience. eCoin specifically introduced Facebook registration, one of the biggest social media networks. eCoin says the move towards social media integration was a natural step due to the fact more people are joining social media sites, and it provides a convenient way for new traders to join the platform. “With more and more users worldwide relaying on social media it was a natural step for eCoin.eu to allow users to register and access their account through Facebook. For maximum security eCoin recommends that customers use the dual authentication feature provided.” eCoin also will incentivize traders to like their Facebook page by waiving trading fees. This is a win-win situation as traders have fewer things cutting into profits, and eCoin enjoys increased social media exposure, which can potentially lead to increased traffic to their website. Withdrawals to debit cards have been introduced as stated above, has also been introduced. Users can now withdraw to an XML Gold Prepaid MasterCard in USD, EUR of GBP. eCoin only charges a 2% fee for this, and if you do not have a card, users can purchase them for 15 EUR with shipping included in the price. About eCoin.eu:   eCoin.eu is a transparent trading service provider managed by Wallet Capital Group Inc. The company is registered in Panama under Offshore Financial Operational...

EU Defines Bitcoin as Currency; Surge Ensues

The bitcoin casino is open again. The price of the digital currency has climbed as much as 50% this week, re-creating scenes from a manic 2013 run that took it from $13 to a high of $1,100 before it crashed. The burst of speculative buying followed a spate of positive publicity and a move by the European Union to define bitcoin as a currency and not a commodity. The hype and volatility around bitcoin, however, is overshadowing an uptick in more sober consideration of how its underlying technology—a sort of decentralized register of transactions—could be applied to traditional finance. Bitcoin traded as high as $492 on Wednesday, well below its record but up about 50% from last Friday’s closing price. It fell back to roughly $430 in the afternoon. The thinly traded market is prone to volatility, but before these sharp swings, bitcoin was having a quiet year, with the price ranging between $200 and $250. “It’s the herd mentality,” said Bobby Lee, CEO of Shanghai-based exchange BTCC. “It’s true in this as in anything, whether it’s tulips or gold.” Bitcoin is an odd concept—a currency not issued by any government or central bank, but instead existing on a decentralized network of computers around the world. Transactions to buy and sell bitcoin are entered in an open ledger that is quickly verified and updated. That ledger system is called the blockchain. Venture capitalists and Wall Street banks have been investing in the technology, betting it could more efficiently and securely handle things like settlements of securities transactions or cross-border payments. That perceived potential landed blockchain on the covers of...