American digital asset manager Grayscale Investments has disclosed that it managed to gain regulatory approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to open its Ethereum Trust for the over-the-counter (OTC) markets under the trading symbol ETHE for retail investors.
ETHE, that was launched and funded by Grayscale in 2017, represents itself an open-ended trust. It holds Ethereum and its value is influenced only by the value of the coin itself. According to the data of April 30, 2019, holding one share of ETHE meant being an owner of 0.09662399 Ethereum.
ETHE itself won’t receive any income. It regularly allocates ETH to pay for its related expenses. That’s why as the general amount of ETH available gradually decreases, the same does the amount of Ethereum that is represented by each share of ETHE. And it is said that until the shares are DTC eligible, it’s too early to speak about any trading volume available.
For 2 years of its existence, this was available to institutional and accredited investors only with a minimum investment making at least $25,000 through private purchases.
Nevertheless, the FINRA approval opens new opportunities for individual investors as well.
“The secondary market really opens up the opportunity for any and all investors,” said Michael Sonnenshein, managing director of New York-based Grayscale Investments.
From the company, they also informed that it will be allowed to sell the shares over the counter for those investors in the Ethereum Trust who have held shares for a year or longer.
Speaking about such an important event for the company as getting approval from FINRA, Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary, Grayscale’s Head of Sales and Business Development, stated:
“We are very excited about receiving FINRA approval for Grayscale Ethereum Trust. As the largest digital currency asset manager, Grayscale continues to bring new opportunities for investors to gain exposure to digital currencies.”
It’s worth mentioning that such a move is important not only for Grayscale but for the entire industry as well. The approval from FINRA means that the crypto space is gaining positive attention from the side of regulators which could be a sign of further changes. An opening ETHE for retail investors may be viewed as a new step towards the mainstream though it’s clear that it won’t happen in the nearest future.
In total, it operates nine single-asset cryptocurrency products. They are the products tied to Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Horizen (ZEN), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar Lumens (XLM), XRP, and Zcash (ZEC). As of May 15, 2019, the total value of all assets under the management of Grayscale is approximately $1.9 billion.