Grayscale Investments, the investment arm of Digital Currency Group, has picked up a majority of all ether mined in 2020. The metric indicates massive institutional interest in Ethereum, which is soon moving to a Proof-of-Stake protocol.
Picking up the ETH pennies
Grayscale’s “Ethereum Trust” fund handles over $284 million in an index fund offered to institutional investors that track Ethereum’s long-term price movements while protecting against volatile drawdowns.
As per documents published on its site, Grayscale purchased approximately 756,540 ETH in 2020, a figure representing over 40 percent of all ether mined this year. The remaining 1.5 million ether are held by miners or crypto exchanges, assuming no ether was sold to retail investors.
Each share of the fund is backed by 0.09 ETH, meaning investors must hold over 11 shares for a net exposure of 1 ETH. Outstanding shares are reported at 13.25 million, and Grayscale charges investors the industry-standard 2.5 percent as management fees on total assets.
The fund has outperformed a buy-and-hold strategy thus far; investors holding ETH gained 16 percent in 2020, largely in part due to the run in recent weeks. In comparison, trust fund holders gained 155 percent — almost tripling their investment.
However, holding ETH gained 36 percent for investors in the past month, compared to just 13 percent for fundholders, indicating Grayscale’s strategies do not react quickly to market changes and may falter in volatile and sideways markets.
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