A release of funds from lock-up traditionally heralds the start of price upside and ends consolidatory phases, data shows.
Bitcoin (BTC) may have traded sideways for much of last month thanks to Grayscale, but the status quo will soon change.
According to data from on-chain analytics resource CryptoQuant, the price premium of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) just hit its lowest since April 2019.
Grayscale lock-up ends Wednesday
Grayscale has made the headlines frequently this year thanks to record BTC purchases and record demand, but despite the inflows, BTC/USD has not continued to gain.
As February begins, the Trust’s purchase premium is at around $6.50, having previously been as high as $40 over the course of its existence. This historically coincides with meandering price direction, while large premiums equal large upside moves for Bitcoin.
In late December, a dedicated article in technology magazine Hackernoon explained the phenomenon as being tied to releases of GBTC shares which have been subject to a customary lock-up.
Once they are released, Bitcoin tends to shoot higher as customers put their profits back into BTC, while the time preceding such events corresponds to a lack of price action.
“What's important to know is once these higher prices and premiums are realized after an unlocking, price goes on to consolidate. This lets the premium shrink again before its next unlocking event,” Hackernoon summarized.
With the next unlocking set for Feb. 3, anticipation should be building for a continuation of the Bitcoin bull run.
“This voids enables premiums to shrink again just like the nine times before,” the article continued, correctly predicting the price behavior for the second half of January.
“And it'll keep shrinking until the next unlocking. Because of this I expect price to either consolidate or sag.”
No sag for Grayscale investment
Grayscale meanwhile continues to expand its offerings as institutional interest broadly shows no signs of slowing for either Bitcoin or altcoins.
This week saw its Ethereum Trust reopen after being closed since December, while Feb. 25 will see Grayscale sponsor crypto-focused event the Bloomberg Crypto Summit.
GBTC had $21.8 billion in assets under management as of Feb. 1. Ether (ETH) purchases have been on pause since Dec. 10.