Grayscale Seeing New Group of Investors Seeking Ethereum as a First & Only Asset
While Bitcoin continues to rule the cryptocurrency market, the second-largest crypto Ethereum also sees a lot of traction.
According to Michael Sonnenshein, managing director at Grayscale Investments, which caters to institutional and accredited investors only, up until 2020, most investors' first stop was Bitcoin. But now, the most actively used blockchain in the world and its token Ether is getting more attention, he said.
“Over the course of 2020, we are seeing a new group of investors who are Ethereum first and in some cases Ethereum only,” Sonnenshein said in an interview with Bloomberg. “There’s a growing conviction around Ethereum as an asset class.”
Its Ethereum product, Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE), has 29.6 million shares outstanding currently compared to just 5.2 million at the end of 2019. In 3Q20, it recorded inflows of $204 million, an increase from $20 million in 4Q19.
As per the company’s report, in the third quarter of this year, more than 17% of inflows into the Grayscale Ethereum trust came from new institutional investors.
Interestingly, ETHE is trading at a premium of about 120%, up from 18% in October but down from 950% in June this year. In comparison, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is currently trading at a premium of 27.5%, which was 17% at the beginning of this year and the highest in May 2017 at 132% per Ycharts.
Earlier this week, Grayscale also announced a 9-for-1 split for its ETHE shares.
ETH’s 352% YTD gains beat Bitcoin’s 165% when it comes to the price of the digital assets. Ether is currently trading around $600, well off its January 2018 all-time high of about $1,430.
Ethereum “appears to be maintaining platform leadership status,” according to Bloomberg Intelligence strategist Mike McGlone.
On Dec. 1st, ETH achieved a significant milestone as phase 0, the Beacon Chain, went live; this is the first step in achieving scalability and reduced cost. Not to mention the wild world of decentralized finance (DeFi) with a total value locked of $14.5 billion.
“The development of the asset class has continued to solidify itself,” Sonnenshein said. “Ethereum has along the same lines of the staying power Bitcoin has.”