The U.S. investment management company Grayscale Investments LLC has launched the first-ever private fund that invests in the digital currency ethereum classic (ETC) with $10 million in seed capital. The new fund is called the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust.
Grayscale Investments, an investment subsidiary of the Digital Currency Group (DCG) founded by entrepreneur and investor Barry Silbert, has raised $10 million in seed capital from the Digital Currency Group, Silbert himself and Glenn Hutchins, co-founder of the private investment firm Silver Lake and board member of DCG, NASDAQ and AT&T. The purpose of the fund is to track the price of the digital currency ethereum classic (ETC), which was created a little under a year ago following the Ethereum hard fork. Ethereum Classic provides developers with the opportunity to create smart contracts as well as decentralized apps.
Ethereum Classic has since emerged as one of the leading digital currencies in the market in terms of market capitalization and investor interest. The all-time high of ethereum classic was $5.11 on April 27, and its market capitalization currently stands at around $440 million, making it the sixth largest digital currency in the market according to CoinMarketCap.
“I’m excited about Ethereum Classic, as opposed to Ethereum (ETH), because ETC has a fixed supply and the potential to serve as the smart contract and micropayment layer to the Internet of Things,” Silbert said to Bitcoin Magazine.
The Ethereum Classic Investment Trust is set up with a similar structure as Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, the only publicly traded bitcoin investment vehicle in the U.S., which launched as a private vehicle in 2013 and began being publicly traded in 2015. The new fund allows investors to hold ETC without needing to go through the technical hassle of purchasing and securely storing the digital coins.
The fund is launching at a time when the digital currency market is witnessing new all-time highs in its two largest currencies, bitcoin and ether, as well as an impressive rally in altcoins, such as Litecoin, Ripple, DASH as well as ethereum classic.
“As investors have grown more interested in digital currency as an asset class, we’ve also seen growing frustration with the difficulty in purchasing non-bitcoin digital currencies,” Silbert told Reuters when he first announced his intentions to launch the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust at the beginning of March.
“We’re excited to launch a fund for ethereum classic to satisfy the growing interest we are seeing in ETC from more mainstream investors,” he added.