What is Grayscale?Grayscale is the company that created the ETHE product. Their website is https://grayscale.co/
What is ETHE?ETHE is essentially a stock that intends to loosely track the price of ETH. It does so by having each ETHE be backed by a specific amount of ETH that is held on chain. Initially, the newly minted ETHE can only be purchased by institutions and accredited investors directly from Grayscale. Once a year has passed (6 months for GBTC) it can then be listed on the OTCQX Best Market exchange for secondary trading. Once listed on OTCQX, anyone investor can purchase at this point. Additional information on ETHE can be found here.
So ETHE is an ETF?No. For technical reasons beyond my personal understandings it is not labeled an ETF. I know it all flows back to the “Securities Act Rule 144”, but due to my limited knowledge on SEC regulations I don’t want to misspeak past that. If anyone is more knowledgeable on the subject I am happy to input their answer here.
How long has ETHE existed?ETHE was formed 12/14/2017. GBTC was formed 9/25/2013.
How is ETHE created?The trust will issue shares to “Authorized Participants” in groups of 100 shares (called baskets). Authorized Participants are the only persons that may place orders to create these baskets and they do it on behalf of the investor.
How does Grayscale acquire the ETH to collateralize the ETHE product?An Investor may acquire ETHE by paying in cash or exchanging ETH already owned.
Where does Grayscale store their ETH? Does it have a specific wallet address we can follow?ETH is stored with Coinbase Custody Trust Company, LLC. I am unaware of any specific address or set of addresses that can be used to verify the ETH is actually there.
Can ETHE be redeemed for ETH?No, currently there is no way to give your shares of ETHE back to Grayscale to receive ETH back. The only method of getting back into ETH would be to sell your ETHE to someone else and then use those proceeds to buy ETH yourself.
Why are they not redeeming shares?I think the report summarizes it best:
Redemptions of Shares are currently not permitted and the Trust is unable to redeem Shares. Subject to receipt of regulatory approval from the SEC and approval by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Trust may in the future operate a redemption program. Because the Trust does not believe that the SEC would, at this time, entertain an application for the waiver of rules needed in order to operate an ongoing redemption program, the Trust currently has no intention of seeking regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program.Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
What is the fee structure?ETHE has an annual fee of 2.5%. GBTC has an annual fee of 2.0%. Fees are paid by selling the underlying ETH / BTC collateralizing the asset.
What is the ratio of ETH to ETHE?At the time of posting (6/19/2020) each ETHE share is backed by .09391605 ETH. Each share of GBTC is backed by .00096038 BTC.
Why is the ratio not 1:1? Why is it always decreasing?While I cannot say for certain why the initial distribution was not a 1:1 backing, it is more than likely to keep the price down and allow more investors a chance to purchase ETHE / GBTC.
I keep hearing about how this is locked supply… explain?As noted above, there is currently no redemption program for converting your ETHE back into ETH. This means that once an ETHE is issued, it will remain in circulation until a redemption program is formed --- something that doesn’t seem to be too urgent for the SEC or Grayscale at the moment. Tiny amounts will naturally be removed due to fees, but the bulk of the asset is in there for good.
The Trust’s ETH will be transferred out of the ETH Account only in the following circumstances: (i) transferred to pay the Sponsor’s Fee or any Additional Trust Expenses, (ii) distributed in connection with the redemption of Baskets (subject to the Trust’s obtaining regulatory approval from the SEC to operate an ongoing redemption program and the consent of the Sponsor), (iii) sold on an as-needed basis to pay Additional Trust Expenses or (iv) sold on behalf of the Trust in the event the Trust terminates and liquidates its assets or as otherwise required by law or regulation.Source: Description of Trust on page 31 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
Grayscale now owns a huge chunk of both ETH and BTC’s supply… should we be worried about manipulation, a sell off to crash the market crash, a staking cartel?First, it’s important to remember Grayscale is a lot more akin to an exchange then say an investment firm. Grayscale is working on behalf of its investors to create this product for investor control. Grayscale doesn’t ‘control’ the ETH it holds any more then Coinbase ‘controls’ the ETH in its hot wallet. (Note: There are likely some varying levels of control, but specific to this topic Grayscale cannot simply sell [legally, at least] the ETH by their own decision in the same manner Coinbase wouldn't be able to either.)
Yes, but what about [insert criminal act here]…Alright, yes. Technically nothing is stopping Grayscale from selling all the ETH / BTC and running off to the Bahamas (Hawaii?). BUT there is no real reason for them to do so. Barry is an extremely public figure and it won’t be easy for him to get away with that. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust creates SEC reports weekly / bi-weekly and I’m sure given the sentiment towards crypto is being watched carefully. Plus, Grayscale is making tons of consistent revenue and thus has little to no incentive to give that up for a quick buck.
That’s a lot of ‘happy little feels’ Bob, is there even an independent audit or is this Tether 2.0?Actually yes, an independent auditor report can be found in their annual reports. It is clearly aimed more towards the financial side and I doubt the auditors are crypto savants, but it is at least one extra set of eyes. Auditors are Friedman LLP – Auditor since 2015.
The company’s auditors Friedman LLP were also coincidentally TetheBitfinex’s auditors until They controversially parted ways in 2018 when the Tether controversy was at its height. I am not suggesting for one moment that there is anything shady about DCG - I just find it interesting it’s the same auditor.
“Grayscale sounds kind of lame” / “Not your keys not your crypto!” / “Why is anyone buying this, it sounds like a scam?”Welp, for starters this honestly is not really a product aimed at the people likely to be reading this post. To each their own, but do remember just because something provides no value to you doesn’t mean it can’t provide value to someone else. That said some of the advertised benefits are as follows:
Why is there a premium? Why is ETHE’s premium so insanely high compared to GBTC’s premium?There are a handful of theories of why a premium exists at all, some even mentioned in the annual report. The short list is as follows:
Are there any other differences between ETHE and GBTC?I touched on a few of the smaller differences, but one of the more interesting changes is GBTC is now a “SEC reporting company” as of January 2020. Which again goes beyond my scope of knowledge so I won’t comment on it too much… but the net result is GBTC is now putting out weekly / bi-weekly 8-K’s and annual 10-K’s. This means you can track GBTC that much easier at the moment as well as there is an extra layer of validity to the product IMO.
I’m looking for some statistics on ETHE… such as who is buying, how much is bought, etc?There is a great Q1 2020 report I recommend you give a read that has a lot of cool graphs and data on the product. It’s a little GBTC centric, but there is some ETHE data as well. It can be found here hidden within the 8-K filings.Q1 2020 is the 4/16/2020 8-K filing.
Is Grayscale only just for BTC and ETH?No, there are other products as well. In terms of a secondary market product, ETCG is the Ethereum Classic version of ETHE. Fun Fact – ETCG was actually put out to the secondary market first. It also has a 3% fee tied to it where 1% of it goes to some type of ETC development fund.
Are there alternatives to Grayscale?I know they exist, but I don’t follow them. I’ll leave this as a “to be edited” section and will add as others comment on what they know.
Coinshares (Formerly XBT provider) are the only similar product I know of. BTC, ETH, XRP and LTC as Exchange Traded Notes (ETN).
It looks like they are fully backed with the underlying crypto (no premium).
Denominated in SEK and EUR. Certainly available in some UK pensions (SIPP).
As asked by pegcity - Okay so I was under the impression you can just give them your own ETH and get ETHE, but do you get 11 ETHE per ETH or do you get the market value of ETH in USD worth of ETHE?I have always understood that the ETHE issued directly through Grayscale is issued without the premium. As in, if I were to trade 1 ETH for ETHE I would get 11, not say only 2 or 3 because the secondary market premium is so high. And if I were paying cash only I would be paying the price to buy 1 ETH to get my 11 ETHE. Per page 39 of their annual statement, it reads as follows:
The Trust will issue Shares to Authorized Participants from time to time, but only in one or more Baskets (with a Basket being a block of 100 Shares). The Trust will not issue fractions of a Basket. The creation (and, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redemption) of Baskets will be made only in exchange for the delivery to the Trust, or the distribution by the Trust, of the number of whole and fractional ETH represented by each Basket being created (or, should the Trust commence a redemption program, redeemed), which is determined by dividing (x) the number of ETH owned by the Trust at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the trade date of a creation or redemption order, after deducting the number of ETH representing the U.S. dollar value of accrued but unpaid fees and expenses of the Trust (converted using the ETH Index Price at such time, and carried to the eighth decimal place), by (y) the number of Shares outstanding at such time (with the quotient so obtained calculated to one one-hundred-millionth of one ETH (i.e., carried to the eighth decimal place)), and multiplying such quotient by 100 (the “Basket ETH Amount”). All questions as to the calculation of the Basket ETH Amount will be conclusively determined by the Sponsor and will be final and binding on all persons interested in the Trust. The Basket ETH Amount multiplied by the number of Baskets being created or redeemed is the “Total Basket ETH Amount.” The number of ETH represented by a Share will gradually decrease over time as the Trust’s ETH are used to pay the Trust’s expenses. Each Share represented approximately 0.0950 ETH and 0.0974 ETH as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
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By Taylor Margot. Everyone should read this!
SUMOkoin is a fork of MONERO (XMR). XMR is a fork of Bytecoin. In my opinion, XMR is hands down the most undervalued coin in the top 15. Its hurdle is that people do not know how to price in privacy to the price of a coin yet. Once people figure out how to accurately assess the value privacy into the value of a coin, XMR, along with other privacy coins like SUMOkoin, will go parabolic.
Let’s be clear about something. I am not here to argue SUMOkoin is superior to XMR. That’s not what this article is about and frankly is missing the point. I don’t find the SUMOkoin vs. XMR debate interesting. From where I stand, investing in SUMOkoin has nothing to do with SUMOkoin overtaking XMR or who has superior tech. If anything, I think the merits of XMR underline the value of SUMOkoin. What I do find interesting is return on investment (“ROI”).
Imagine SUMO was an upcoming ICO. But you knew ahead of time that they had a proven product-market fit and an awesome, blue chip code base. That’s basically what you have in SUMO. Most good ICOs raise over 20mil (meaning their starting market cap is $20 mil) but after that, it’s a crapshoot. Investing in SUMO is akin to getting ICO prices but with the amount of information associated with more established coins.
Let me make one more thing clear. Investing is all about information. Specifically it’s about the information imbalance between current value and the quality of your information. SUMO is highly imbalanced.
The fact of the matter is that if you are interested in getting the vision and product/market fit of a $6 billion market cap coin for $20 mil, you should keep reading.
If you are interested in arguing about XMR vs. SUMOkoin, I point you to this infographic
I’m a corporate tech & IP lawyer in Silicon Valley. My practice focuses on venture capital (“VC)”) and mergers & acquisitions (“M&A”). Recently I have begun doing more IP strategy. Basically I spend all day every day reviewing cap tables, stock purchase agreements, merger agreements and patent portfolios. I’m also the CEO of a startup (Scry Chat) and have a team of three full-time engineers.
I started using BTC in 2014 in conjunction with Silk Road and TOR. I recently had a minor conniption when I discovered how much BTC I handled in 2014. My 2017 has been good with IOTA at sub $0.30, POWR at $0.12, ENJIN at $0.02, REQ at $0.05, ENIGMA at $0.50, ITC (IoT Chain) and SUMO.
My crypto investing philosophy is based on betting long odds. In the words of Warren Buffet, consolidate to get rich, diversify to stay rich. Or as I like to say, nobody ever got rich diversifying.
That being said I STRONGLY recommend you have an IRA and/or 401(k) in place prior to venturing into crypto. But when it comes to crypto, I’d rather strike out dozens of times to have a chance at hitting a 100x home run. This approach is probably born out of working with VCs in Silicon Valley who do the same only with companies, not coins. I view myself as an aggressive VC in the cryptosphere.
The Number 1 thing I’ve taken away from venture law is that it pays to get in EARLY.
Did you know that the typical founder buys their shares for $0.00001 per share? So if a founder owns 5 million shares, they bought those shares for $50 total. The typical IPO goes out the door at $10-20 per share. My iPhone calculator says ERROR when it tries to divide $10/0.00001 because it runs out of screen real estate.
At the time of this writing, SUMO has a Marketcap of $18 million. That is 3/10,000th or 1/3333th. Let that sink in for a minute. BCH is a fork of BTC and it has the fourth largest market cap of all cryptos. Given it’s market cap, I am positive SUMO is the best value proposition in the Privacy Coin arena at the time of this writing. *
ROI MERITS OF SUMOkoin
So what’s so good about SUMOkoin? Didn’t you say it was just a Monero knock-off?
1) Well, sort of. SUMO is based on CryptoNote and was conceived from a fork of Monero, with a little bit of extra privacy thrown in. It would not be wrong to think SUMO is to Litecoin as XMR is to Bitcoin.
2) Increased Privacy. Which brings us to point 2. SUMO is doing several things to increase privacy (see below). If Monero is the King of Privacy Coins, then SUMO is the Standard Bearer fighting on the front lines. Note: Monero does many of these too (though at the time of fork XMR could not). Don’t forget Monero is also 5.8 billion market cap to SUMO’s 18 million.
a) RingCT. All transactions since genesis are RingCT (ring confidential transactions) and the minimum “mixin” transactions is 13 (12 plus the original transaction). This passes the threshold to statistically resist blockchain attacks. No transactions made on the SUMO blockchain can ever be traced to the actual participants. Nifty huh? Monero (3+1 mixins) is considering a community-wide fork to increase their minimum transactions to 6, 9, or 12. Not a bad market signal if you’re SUMOkoin eh?
b) Sub-addresses. The wallet deploys disposable sub-addresses to conceal your real sumo wallet address even from senders (who typically would need to know your actual address to send currency). Monero also does this.
3) Fungibility aka “Digital Cash” aka Broad Use Case. “Fungibility” gets thrown about a bunch but basically it means ‘how close is this coin to cash in terms of usage?’ SUMO is one of a few cryptos that can boast true fungibility — it acts just like physical cash i.e. other people can never trace where the money came from or how many coins were transferred. MONERO will never be able to boast this because it did not start as fungible.
4) Mining Made Easy Mode. Seeing as SUMO was a fork, and not an ICO, they didn’t have to rewrite the wheel. Instead they focused on product by putting together solid fundamentals like a great wallet and a dedicated mining app. Basically anyone can mine with the most intuitive GUI mining app out there. Google “Sumo Easy Miner” – run and mine.
5) Intuitive and Secure Wallet. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, yet in this day and age, apparently it is not a prereq. They have a GUI wallet plus those unlimited sub-addresses I mentioned above. Here’s the github if you’d like to review: https://github.com/sumoprojects/SumoGUIWallet The wallet really is one of the best I have seen (ENJIN’s will be better). Clear, intuitive, idiot proof (as possible).
6) Decentralization. SUMO is botnet-proof, and therefore botnet mining resistant. When a botnet joins a mining pool, it adjusts the mining difficulty, thereby balancing the difficulty level of mining.
7) Coin Emission Scheme. SUMO’s block reward changes every 6-months as the following “Camel” distribution schema (inspired by real-world mining production like of crude oil, coal, etc. that is often slow at first, then accelerated in before decline and depletion). MONERO lacks this schema and it is significant. Camel ensures that Sumokoin won’t be a short-lived phenomena. Specifically, since Sumo is proof-of-work, not all SUMO can be mined. If it were all mined, miners would no longer be properly incentivized to contribute to the network (unless transaction fees were raised, which is how Bitcoin plans on handling when all 21 million coins have been mined, which will go poorly given that people already complain about fees). A good emission scheme is vital to viability. Compare Camel and Monero’s scheme if you must: https://github.com/sumoprojects/sumokoin/blob/mastescripts/sumokoin_camel_emission_cal.cpp vs. https://monero.stackexchange.com/questions/242/how-was-the-monero-emission-curve-chosen/247.
8) Dev Team // Locked Coins // Future Development Funds. There are lots of things that make this coin a ‘go.’ but perhaps the most overlooked in crypto is that the devs have delivered ahead of schedule. If you’re an engineer or have managed CS projects, you know how difficult hitting projected deadlines can be. These guys update github very frequently and there is a high degree of visibility. The devs have also time-locked their pre-mine in a publicly view-able wallet for years so they aren’t bailing out with a pump and dump. The dev team is based in Japan.
9) Broad Appeal. If marketed properly, SUMO has the ability to appeal to older individuals venturing into crypto due to the fungibility / similarities to cash. This is not different than XMR, and I expect it will be exploited in 2018 by all privacy coins. It could breed familiarity with new money, and new money is the future of crypto.
10) Absent from Major Exchanges. Thank god. ALL of my best investments have happened off Binance, Bittrex, Polo, GDAX, etc. Why? Because by the time a coin hits a major exchange you’re already too late. Your TOI is fucked. You’re no longer a savant. SUMO is on Cryptopia, the best jenky exchange.
11) Marketing. Which brings me to my final point – and it happens to be a weakness. SUMO has not focused on marketing. They’ve instead gathered together tech speaks for itself (or rather doesn’t). So what SUMO needs a community effort to distribute facts about SUMO’s value prop to the masses. A good example i...
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