Bitcoin-ETF Frenzy Heats Up With Grayscale Deal, Ticker Change


Grayscale Investments LLC, the company behind the world’s biggest cryptocurrency trust, has purchased a stake in a little-known ETF provider days after reiterating a desire to convert its fund into one.

The target of its investment, ClearShares, simultaneously announced the step of changing the ticker symbol for its $32 million ClearShares Piton Intermediate Fixed Income exchange-traded fund from “PIFI” to “BTC,” the three-letter shorthand almost everybody in crypto uses for Bitcoin.

The move is already raising eyebrows in the industry. Financial markets are yearning for a Bitcoin ETF, and at least eight applications to list them have been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission since late December. The ClearShares fund is for now sticking with buying investment-grade corporate bonds, U.S. government agency bonds and Treasuries, according to its website.

“Grayscale has taken an ownership stake in ClearShares as part of its long-term commitment to bring digital currency ETFs to market, with the potential to collaborate on products with investment strategies related to the digital currency industry,” spokesperson Seres Lu said via email.

The roughly $41 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is not an ETF, but the firm has been adamant that it plans to turn it into one once it has the blessing of the SEC.

A spokesperson for ClearShares declined to provide additional information beyond the statement.

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