On the 27th of June, 2019 the bitcoin price began a vicious 20% plunge. Despite it being painfully obvious, someone bought Ethereum at $5,000 in real-time.
About a week ago, the Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE) launched on over-the-counter market OTCQX, enabling US Investors – including retail investors – to purchase the product’s shares, which are backed by “physical” ether tokens. Much like Grayscale Investments’ flagship product, the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), ETHE began as privately-traded security, available only to accredited investors willing to front the large investment minimum. There’s plenty of ETH out there (more than $1.3 billion worth changed hands over the past 24 hours). However, there’s a very limited number of Grayscale Ethereum Trust shares. And even fewer are up for sale.
Accredited investors can purchase shares in Grayscale products at their Net Asset value and then, following a vesting period, dump them on the illiquid public market at hefty premiums to their actual value. Often to retail investors, who are either too ignorant to recognize they’re paying insane premiums or have a semi-compelling reason to pay far above market value to purchase bitcoin (e.g., a desire to hold BTC in tax-advantaged retirement accounts).
Someone bought Ethereum at more than triple its record price. According to TradingView, it actually popped higher a few days ago, though I didn’t witness this one in real-time. Today, ETHE has cooled off to a far more pedestrian $125. Meaning that investors are now buying ETH below its all-time high. But only slightly.
ETHE’s net asset value is currently about $27. This is very similar to what happened in December 2017.