NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Grayscale Investments, LLC, the sponsor (the “Sponsor”) of the Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) (the “Trust”), announced that it has today declared a distribution and established a record date for the distribution of a portion of the rights to Bitcoin Gold tokens currently held by the Trust as a result of the fork in the Bitcoin blockchain on October 24, 2017 to shareholders of record (“Record Date Shareholders”) as of the close of business on December 4, 2017 (the “Record Date”).
On the Record Date, pursuant to the terms of the Trust Agreement governing the Trust, the Trust will appoint Grayscale Investments, LLC as agent (the “Agent”) on behalf of the Record Date Shareholders and transfer the rights to Bitcoin Gold tokens held by the Trust to the Agent on behalf of the Record Date Shareholders. The Agent will thereafter exercise the rights to acquire the Bitcoin Gold tokens as soon as practicable and sell the Bitcoin Gold tokens over a period of time, currently not expected to exceed 90 days, unless the market for Bitcoin Gold tokens subsequently disappears or the costs incurred by the Agent in connection with selling the Bitcoin Gold tokens would exceed the value of such sales, in which case the Agent will abandon the Bitcoin Gold tokens and make a public announcement to that effect.
If the Agent is able to sell the Bitcoin Gold tokens, the Agent will remit the cash proceeds from such sale, net of any administrative and other reasonable expenses incurred by the Agent in connection therewith, to Record Date Shareholders upon completion of the sale. In this case, the Agent will announce one or more dates for the remittance of such net cash proceeds. The Agent reserves the right to remit any net cash proceeds from the sale of the Record Date Shareholders’ Bitcoin Gold tokens prior to the completion thereof, in more than one remittance. The cash ultimately received by the Record Date Shareholders from any post-distribution sale of the distributed Bitcoin Gold on their behalf will be reduced by any administrative and other reasonable expenses related to the eventual sale of the distributed Bitcoin Gold that are incurred by the Agent in its capacity as agent of the Record Date Shareholders and not in its capacity as sponsor of the Trust. The Agent may use an affiliated dealer to facilitate the sale of Bitcoin Gold. Any such affiliated dealer would be expected to earn a customary markup or other customary compensation for its services.
In connection with the Bitcoin Gold fork, the Trust incurred certain extraordinary expenses. These expenses primarily relate to consultations with the Trust’s professional advisors and third-party service providers to determine an appropriate approach to handling the Bitcoin Gold that would maximize shareholder value while ensuring the Trust’s continued treatment as a grantor trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Pursuant to the terms of the Trust Agreement, the Trust’s extraordinary expenses will be payable in Bitcoin and other virtual currency, such as Bitcoin Gold, then held by the Trust.
The Trust currently holds rights to approximately 172,324 tokens (or units) of Bitcoin Gold, or approximately 0.09221573 tokens of Bitcoin Gold per share based on 1,868,700 shares of the Trust outstanding as of the date hereof and expected to be outstanding as of the Record Date. In lieu of using Bitcoin to pay the extraordinary expenses incurred in connection with the Bitcoin Gold fork, the Trust will transfer a portion of the rights to Bitcoin Gold held by the Trust to the Sponsor to pay such extraordinary expenses on the Trust’s behalf prior to the distribution to the Record Date Shareholders on the Record Date. As a result, the distribution to the Record Date Shareholders on the Record Date is expected to consist of rights to approximately 0.09217291 tokens of Bitcoin Gold per share.
Bitcoin Gold currently trades in multiple venues, which have reported widely fluctuating values for Bitcoin Gold since the Bitcoin Gold Network was publicly launched on November 12, 2017, and as a result of this volatility it is not possible to predict the value of Bitcoin Gold to be distributed as of the Record Date. On November 21, 2017, venues were reporting intraday trading prices for Bitcoin Gold from as high as approximately $365 per coin to as low as approximately $202 per coin (or their approximate equivalents in other fiat or digital currencies), although there is no assurance that prices in this range (before deduction of expenses) would have been realizable had the rights to Bitcoin Gold currently held by the Trust been exercised and the Bitcoin Gold tokens liquidated on such date. As a result, there can be no assurance as to the price or prices for Bitcoin Gold that the Agent may realize, and the value of Bitcoin Gold may increase or decrease after any sale of Bitcoin Gold by the Agent.
Record Date Shareholders are advised to consult with their advisors as to the tax consequences of the foregoing.
Shareholders should note that any future forks or airdrops on the Bitcoin Network may not be handled by the Sponsor in the same manner as the Bitcoin Gold fork. The Sponsor intends to evaluate each future fork or airdrop on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Trust’s legal advisors, tax consultants, and custodian, and may, for example, decide to abandon the additional assets resulting from a fork or airdrop if it concludes that the likely administrative costs of distributing the additional assets would largely offset the likely near-term value of the additional assets.
About Grayscale Investments, LLC
Founded in 2013, Grayscale Investments, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, Inc., which builds and supports bitcoin and blockchain companies by leveraging its insights, network, and access to capital. A trusted authority on digital currency investing, Grayscale provides market insight and investment exposure to the developing digital currency asset class. Grayscale is the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, the Ethereum Classic Investment Trust, and the Zcash Investment Trust.
Grayscale Investments, LLC is headquartered in New York City. www.grayscale.co