It has been a long time coming, but as of this morning, the publicly traded shares of the Bitcoin Investment Trust have officially started trading under the ticker GBTC. For the first time in bitcoin’s history, bitcoin can now be bought and sold on the public markets.For the past few weeks, there have been multiple bids placed for shares of GBTC, including one by Maxim Capital for 50,000 shares at $35.00/share. However, there hadn’t been any asks, or offers to sell shares. KGA Americas was the first to place a $44.00 ask for 298 shares of GBTC, which is the equivalent to 29.8 bitcoin at around $440.00 per coin.
I might have been first to purchase $GBTC, here’s my trade stub in case anyone is a securities detective pic.twitter.com/FsaPg0ZlPN— Joe Colangelo (@Itsjoeco) May 4, 2015
But with a $6.00 spread between the top bid and the lowest ask, there was still some price movement that needed to take place for an order to execute. Right around 12:00PM EST, the first reported trade went through. Originally it was believed to have been 10 shares at $38, but according to Michael Sonnenshein, the Director of Sales & Business Development at Grayscale Investments, the first trade was for 2 shares at $44/share.
@alansilbert first trade was for 2 shares @ $44.00— Michael Sonnenshein (@Sonnenshein) May 4, 2015
The price quickly dropped down to $38, where Joe Colanegelo revealed that he had purchased 10 shares of GBTC at $37.98 through his brokerage.
I just purchased 10 shares of $GBTC at $37.98 through USAA pic.twitter.com/trHbpm80Wx
Adam Silbert, the founder of BitPremier, also revealed that he bought shares of GBTC through his Fidelity account.James Russell shared on Twitter that he had success selling shares of GBTC on the open market, selling 7 shares for $133.70/share. That would have meant that someone had purchased a bitcoin for about $1,337.00. He went on to share that he had sold an additional 27 throughout the rest of the day, but none of the prices showed on the GBTC asks. He did share a screenshot of his asks on Twitter.
All told, it was a light day for trading of GBTC. Only 765 shares changed hands, which is the equivalent of about 76.5 bitcoin. However, this ensures that the average individual can now purchase shares of bitcoin without having to own the physical asset; further, it gives them an easy outlet for adding bitcoin to their retirement account.
Jacob is a product manager working in the industrial news space as well as a freelance writer covering finance. He found bitcoin randomly, fell in love with its potential, and has been addicted to it ever since. He runs a weekly newsletter about bitcoin at CryptoBrief.com