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Investors are betting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve at least one of the three proposed bitcoin-focused exchange-traded funds, despite doubts expressed by Wall Street analysts, according to MarketWatch.

Futures contracts traded on BitMEX, an exchange incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles, and the falling premium of the Grayscale bitcoin trust shares traded on the secondary market, indicate participants are expecting approval, said Spencer Bogart, an analyst at Needham & Co., one of the few Wall Street analysts who cover bitcoin.

Trust Premium NAV Drops

The trust’s premium over bitcoin’s net asset value (NAV) has dropped from around 42.21 percent in early January to about 13% in recent trade, according to Grayscale. The falling premium reflects less willingness to pay for shares since investors expect near-term approval of one of the ETFs, Bogart said. Shares of a bitcoin ETF would trade closer to bitcoin’s net asset value, according to bitcoin observers.

BitMEX has launched a futures contract allowing investors to bet on the odds that the SEC will approve the Winklevoss ETF. It is currently trading around 33.3, reflecting that the thinly traded market is pricing in around a 33% chance of approval. This is higher than what Bogart expects.

BitMEX could not be reached for comment.


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Grayscale recently filed for an initial public offering to allow its Bitcoin Investment Trust to trade as an ETF on the New York Stock Exchange. The trust is one of the few registered investment vehicles available to financial institutions.

Another company, SolidX, has also filed for a bitcoin ETF.

Also read: Analysts: Be ready for trading frenzy if SEC approves a bitcoin ETF

Approval To Sink $300 M In Bitcoin Market

Should an ETF be approved, more than $300 million of institutional capital will flow into the bitcoin ecosystem in the first week, according to Bogart. This is expected to boost bitcoin’s price.

Chris Burniske, blockchain products lead at ARK Invest, which holds shares in Grayscale’s bitcoin trust, said the fall in the trust’s premium indicates investors are taking a wait-and-see approach.

The trust, a taxable registered security, could attract institutions as well as individuals seeking to add bitcoin to retirement accounts, Burniske said. Only accredited investors can invest directly in the trust. The trust’s market capitalization was $205.6 million last week.

Grayscale declined to comment further due to security law restrictions.

Image from Shutterstock.

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Posted by Lester Coleman

Lester Coleman is a media relations consultant for the payments and automated retailing industries. He is available for writing and media relations assignments.