Bitcoin Investment Trust’s Shares Officially Begin Trading on Public Markets

Bitcoin shares are publicly traded for the first time.

Barry Silbert is the Founder of Digital Currency Group, Founder of SecondMarket, creator of Bitcoin Investment Trust and an investor via Bitcoin Opportunity Corp. Photo: Hubert Burda Media/Flickr

Barry Silbert is the Founder of Digital Currency Group, Founder of SecondMarket, creator of Bitcoin Investment Trust and an investor via Bitcoin Opportunity Corp. Photo: Hubert Burda Media/Flickr

The Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) has announced the start of bitcoin shares trading this week. Bitcoin has never been traded on public markets before and now the time has come.

Although order books were already available on brokerage platforms last month, not a single share was sold or purchased. Not long ago BIT finished regulatory process managed by the Depository Trust Company intended for control over amount of circulating shares.

The last step that BIT should have done was getting approval from FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and now it’s done.

BIT was launched in 2013 as a simple investment vehicle regulating the process of trading bitcoins. Grayscale Investments acts as a sponsor. Grayscale aims at modernization of current financial system but admits that this process is not so quick.

The company believes that area of digital currencies is still not clear enough and it is necessary to create as simple and understandable instrument for it as possible. Now investors will be able to earn on bitcoin market fluctuations.

Yesterday at approximately 12:00 am trading started. Grayscale’s official Twitter kept informing potential investors.

At first it was alleged that first 10 shares were sold at $38 per share.

But according to official statement of Michael Sonnenshein, Grayscale’s director of sales and business development, the first deal was 2 shares at $44 per share.

Afterwards things were moving rapidly. Joe Colanegelo also twitted that he had bought some shares.

During the day purchase was confirmed by James Russell as well.

The day for trading bitcoin was really successful. Statistics says that only 765 shares changed owners.

The BIT was launched in 2013 by Barry Silbert, one of the most active venture capitalists in the industry with investments in over 30 Bitcoin-related companies through the Bitcoin Opportunity Corp.

During the interview for Mauldin Economics last December, Mr. Silbert discussed the future of Bitcoin and divided Bitcoin adoption in five general phases:

  1. Experimentation Phase (2009–2010): No real value is associated with Bitcoin. Hackers and developers are playing around with the source code. Experimenting with Bitcoin as a medium of exchange takes place.
  2. Early Adopters Phase (2011–2013): Interest from investors and entrepreneurs started to increase with substantial press coverage in the wake of the Silk Road First generation of Bitcoin-related companies started. Potential began to shine through poor management.
  3. Venture Capital Phase (2013–Present): World-class VCs started investing in Bitcoin companies and rapid rise is already outpacing the early days of the Internet. VCs poured more than $90 million into Bitcoin-related businesses in 2013 and more than $300 million in 2014 (compared to $250 million invested in Internet-related businesses in 1995).
  4. Wall Street Phase (2015?): Institutional investors, banks, and broker-dealers begin exchanging money into Bitcoin. Rising price and volume in addition to development of derivatives become the catalyst for mass adoption as retail investment follows.
  5. Global Consumer Adoption Phase (?): Only happens if (i) companies continue to innovate and make it easier for consumers to buy, hold, and spend Bitcoin, (ii) volume expands dramatically so that large merchants can start accepting payment in Bitcoin, and (iii) Bitcoin awareness continues to rise with these developments.
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