MicroStrategy's $425M BTC investment thesis - "buy something that can either get cut in half or 10x"
Amidst all of the DeFi volatility, drama and excitement, Bitcoin has started to seem rather boring. Its price is more or less flat to where it was a year ago and you can’t even farm Yams with it. While some have started to view Bitcoin as a useless digital rock, someone did find an interesting use case for it. This week, more details surfaced around how MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor convinced the board of a publicly traded company to allocate nearly all of the company’s $500M cash position to bitcoin. Michael Saylor Saylor graduated from MIT in 1987 and founded Microstrategy at the age of 24. MicroStrategy is a “Business Intelligence” company, which basically creates software that allows companies to use their own data to drive decision making. Interesting side note - Saylor, like any good 90’s internet entrepreneur, also bought a bunch of internet domains and was the guy who ultimately sold Voice.com to Block.One (EOS) for $30M. MicroStrategy’s’ $500M Problem To most people, having $500 million in cash doesn’t sound like a problem. Up until recently, it wasn’t for large corporations either. There was a time before the ‘08 financial crisis when the risk free rate of return on cash was 5% a year. This means a company could sit on $500M, earn $25M a year for doing nothing, and have cash on hand for a rainy day. Fast forward to today, when the risk free rate of return has plummeted to 0.69% due to loose fiscal policies (money printer go BRRRR) alongside inflating asset prices, and it’s a different story. In Saylor’s own words, “we just had the awful realization that we were sitting on top of a $500 million ice cube that’s melting.” Cash is Trash So what’s a corporation to do with a $500M melting ice cube? It turns out it’s not that easy to unload half a billion dollars in a short amount of time. You could buy back half a billion of your own company’s shares. For a company like MSTR, Saylor estimated that would take 4 years. Time MiscroStrategy didn’t have. You could buy real estate. However, commercial real estate prices have collapsed post COVID while property owners still believe their assets are worth what they were in January. In other words, good luck getting a fair market price. You could buy blue chip equities. Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. However, your risk is symmetric. They can each fall 50% just as easily as they can go up 50%. That left Saylor with silver, gold, Bitcoin, and other alternative assets. A move the company announced it was exploring on a July earnings call. A Bold Purchase Saylor ultimately wanted something that could either get cut in half, or go up by a factor of 10. An investment akin to what buying Amazon or Apple in 2012 was. In other words, asymmetric risk. As a student of technological history, Saylor observed that the winning strategy over the last ten years has been to find some kind of “digitally dominant network” that dematerializes something fundamental to society. Apple dematerialized mobile communications. Amazon dematerialized commerce. Google dematerialized the process of gathering information. Something Saylor noted was common to all recent 10X opportunities is buying when they’ve achieved $100B+ marketcaps and are ten times the size of their next biggest competitor. As Bitcoin is the dominant digital network dematerializing money that’s 10x the size of any cryptocurrency competing to be a store-of-value (not counting ETH here), it fit the bill. Making the purchase With the thesis in place, the next thing Saylor had to do was get everyone at MicroStrategy to sign-off on the unorthodox decision. To do this, he simply made everyone go down the same Bitcoin rabbithole that most people in the industry have gone down. He made everyone at the company watch Andreas Antonopoulous videos, read The Bitcoin Standard, watch Eric Vorhees debate Peter Schiff and listen to Pomp and NLW podcasts. With no strong detractors, MicroStrategy turned to execution. They first put $250M to work purchasing 21,454 BTC in August and another $175M (16,796 BTC) in September for a total $425M and 38,250 BTC. What’s fascinating is that MicroStrategy was able to open such a large position without really moving the market or anyone even taking notice. This speaks to just how liquid of an asset BTC has become. To acquire the September tranche of BTC, Saylor disclosed that they traded continuously for 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades of .19 BTC every 3 seconds. One for the history books Skeptics noted that shares of MSTR have been on the downtrend since 2013, as the real reason behind MicroStrategy’s bold move. Regardless, the move has interesting implications for the company’s shareholders. As TBI observed, MicroStrategy is now both a software company and with ⅓ of its marketcap in Bitcoin, a pseudo Bitcoin ETF. At the time of writing, MSTR is up 20% on the week. Only time will tell if history looks back on this move as a brilliant strategic decision or a massive corporate blunder. In the short term, it scores a massive win for Bitcoin’s digital gold investment thesis. Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones is in. A publicly traded corporation has made Bitcoin it’s primary treasury asset. As CFOs and fund managers around the world undoubtedly take notice, one has to wonder, who’s next? PS - I based a lot of this article on Pomp’s interview with Michael Saylor, which I recommend giving a listen. Original article Source
Intro: This post will have a bit of everything. My general thoughts on the sector and its future, a bit of brief DD, and my gameplan.! I would not advise making any financial decisions based on my comments without doing your own research. Mods, in addition to the penny stocks, I also discuss an ETF and two funds that I've invested in that are not penny stocks. I felt that they were worth detailing though to explain my approach. I hope that's kosher. I'm still getting familiar with the sector so I'd love to get some feedback if anyone more familiar can lend some insight. If anyone is aware of some other stocks similar to the ones I selected below that I may have overlooked or if you think I was wrong to toss out any that I mentioned, definitely let me know! My thesis is this: Cryptocurrencies have had some runs in the past but it appears to me that they are gaining traction as a financial instrument on Wall Street. Investments by big companies such as OSTK and SQ, regulatory discussions, and the emergence of blockchain are a few catalysts. This and the general sentiment in the big financial I'm seeing leads me to believe that this sector could see some big money pouring in imminently. Several sectors this year have seen their valuations multiply by 5-10 fold in the course of months. Vaccine biotechs, then EVs, and most recently solar to name a few. It seems like this could easily be next. I could see this move being something akin to the EV movement with a strong initial short term movement and with continued momentum for months or longer. My stock selection strategy is this: Some penny stocks like MARA, RIOT, BTBT, EQOS, EBON, and HVBTF have had big runs recently but when you dig into their financials, they are either abysmal or not easily available (i.e. on Seeking Alpha or the OTC site depending on their exchange). As more legitimate companies start to invest money, the low quality pump and dumps will lose traction and more legit companies with a good future will emerge. I eventually came across CAN and BRPHF(OTC), the brief highlights of which are as follows. Both of these focus on supplying the actual infrastructure components such as bitcoin miners and ancillary equipment. This means that regardless of how financially healthy any sketchy companies doing the mining are, as interest picks up, these guys are making money. Both have implemented share buyback programs recently. While they may have some debt or be loss-making currently (as many legit growth companies are), they have healthy balance sheets and optimism from management. CAN is coming off of recent lows which it has held well, so downside is relatively low right now. BRPHF is at recent highs but momentum has been good in getting there and I believe it has lots of room to grow. My gameplan is this: I invested in both companies above this morning when both were around 5-10% change for the day. They both went to 15-20% later in the day and settled in to close around 15%. I'm feeling good about them so far but will be keeping a close eye on them. I also wanted additional exposure to the sector with a more direct reflection of its movement as a whole. To achieve this I took the following three additional positions, each a bit larger than the two above. First was the blockchain ETF BLOK. There are other blockchain ETFs out there, but I believe this has the most potential moving forward and is the most pure play of them. The other two are pseudo trades of bitcoin and ethereum itself. Right now to trade the currencies without taking any risks associated with owning a cryptocurrency is via a set of funds from Grayscale for various cryptocurrencies. The funds are essentially a trust with a fixed amount of the cryptocurrency, and shares of the funds are traded like stocks. As such, the share price is not a 1:1 correlation with the currency's exchange rate since speculation and the effects of supply and demand factor in. As a matter of fact, there are often large differences in how the share price and exchange rate behave. Because of this, these funds also trade at a premium. For example, you could actually buy significantly more Ethereum directly for a given amount of dollars than the amount of ethereum represented by the amount of shares you could buy with the same amount of dollars. So if people start deciding to buy the cryptocurrency directly, the share price could take a significant hit. I'm not too worried about that in the near term, but I will be monitoring that situation closely. I may actually switch to that strategy myself in the medium term if things go well. The two funds that I took positions in are ETCG for ethereum and GBTC for bitcoin. GBTC has been around for a while and has stabilized so that its price has a pretty good correlation to the bitcoin exchange rate. It finished today up about 7% compared to about 6% for the bitcoin exchange rate. ETCG is pretty new and is much more effected by supply and demand. For reference, it finished today up 25%. Right now its shares are coming off all time lows but as recently as July it was trading at 2-3 times the current value, and at one point in 2019, it was almost 10x. The risk is higher with this one but the upside is massive. In summary: I believe that digital currencies will see great things in the near future and have created a somewhat diversified strategy to give myself exposure, including the two penny stocks listed above.
This is yet one more opinion on the news. I'll start by prefacing that when I first heard of bitcoin many years ago, my first thought was "I already have a PayPal account to buy stuff online, why do I need that Bitcoin account" I failed to understand then that Bitcoin was a currency, not just a transfer protocol. I failed to understand you can store bitcoin long-term. And this lack of knowledge will now be repeated by all new Bitcoin users that PayPal onboards. By keeping users locked down to their platform and not allowing them to withdraw the coins, PayPal will give the illusion that this is how it works. That this is normal, and the correct way. Whereas it's the opposite. Some users will research more and hopefully realize on their own that there are alternatives, that you need to have the ability to take possession of your bitcoin, as opposed to a gold ETF or an oil ETF. Bitcoin is fully digital; taking possession of your coins and ensuring that the big players are not running a fractional reserve bitcoin game is of the utmost importance - and magnitudes easier then storing a barrel of oil. The majority will however remain content with the way PayPal operates due to their inherent trust in the platform and that PayPal must know what's best for them. Overall this news should help shake off those nocoiner claims that Bitcoin is just Beanie Babies. So the perception in the general population will gain some legitimacy, but we must remain vigilant and we must explain to the newcomers that there's "real" Bitcoin (that you can take possession) and "paper" Bitcoin (that's just some number in a centralized database) PayPal needs to add btc withdrawals in order to be a legitimate player. This should be a fundamental requirement for any platform claiming to be a cryptocurrency hub.
Grayscale bitcoin etf bought another 5,973 Bitcoins sometime in the past 3 days
haha grayscale printer go brrrrrrrr
current: Shares Outstanding419,091,700‡ Bitcoin per Share0.00095775‡ = 401,385.075675 Bitcoins owned by grayscale
3 days ago Shares Outstanding412,808,000‡ Bitcoin per Share0.00095786‡ = 395,412.27088 Bitcoins owned by grayscale
source: https://grayscale.co/bitcoin-trust/ How does this work. example: Joe buys Bitcoin etf using Etrade. That doesnt impact bitcoin's price. But eventually the Bitcoin ETF has a 20% premium so the ETF sells some shares and uses the money to buy more bitcoin. They will continue to do this until the premium is gone and the premium is currently +16% so they will be buying thousands of more Bitcoins until it balances out.
Wandering From the Path? | Monthly Portfolio Update - August 2020
Midway along the journey of our lifeI woke to find myself in a dark wood,for I had wandered off from the straight path. Dante, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Canto I This is my forty-fifth portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal. Portfolio goal My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars). This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent. Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund $733 769
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund $41 794
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund $78 533
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund $110 771
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) $216 758
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) $64 542
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) $237 138
Telstra shares (TLS) $1 540
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) $6 043
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) $5 532
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) $121 976
Secured physical gold $19 535
Ratesetter (P2P lending) $8 998
Bitcoin $177 310
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) $17 421
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) $2 759
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) $4 477
Total portfolio value $1 848 896 (+$48 777 or 2.7%) Asset allocation
Australian shares 41.5%
Global shares 22.6%
Emerging market shares 2.2%
International small companies 2.8%
Total international shares 27.6%
Total shares 69.2% (5.8% under)
Total property securities 0.2% (0.2% over)
Australian bonds 4.4%
International bonds 8.9%
Total bonds 13.3% (1.7% under)
Gold and alternatives 17.2% (7.2% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. [Chart] Comments The portfolio has increased in value for the fifth consecutive month, and is starting to approach the monthly value last reached in January. The portfolio has grown over $48 000, or 2.7 per cent this month, reflecting the strong market recovery since late March [Chart] The growth in the portfolio was broadly-based across global and Australian equities, with an increase of around 3.8 per cent. Following strong previous rises, gold holdings decreased by around 2.2 per cent, while Bitcoin continued to increase in value (by 2.5 per cent). Combined, the value of gold and Bitcoin holdings remain at a new peak, while total equity holdings are still below their late January peak to the tune of around $50 000. The fixed income holdings of the portfolio continue to fall below the target allocation. [Chart] The expanding value of gold and Bitcoin holdings since January last year have actually had the practical effect of driving new investments into equities, since effectively for each dollar of appreciation, for example, my target allocation to equities rises by seven dollars. New investments this month have been in the Vanguard international shares exchange-traded fund (VGS) and the Australian shares equivalent (VAS). These have been directed to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares set out in the portfolio plan. As the exchange traded funds such as VGS, VAS and Betashares A200 now make up nearly 30 per cent of the overall portfolio, the quarterly payments they provide have increased in magnitude and importance. Early in the journey, third quarter distributions were essentially immaterial events. Using the same 'median per unit' forecast approach as recently used for half yearly forecasts would suggest a third quarter payout due at the end of September of around $6000. Due to significant announced dividend reductions across this year I am, however, currently assuming this is likely to be significantly lower, and perhaps in the vicinity of $4000 or less. Finding true north: approach to achieving a set asset allocation One of the choices facing all investors with a preferred asset allocation is how strictly the target is applied over time, and what variability is acceptable around that. There is a significant body of financial literature around that issue. My own approach has been to seek to target the preferred asset allocation dynamically, through buying the asset class that is furthest from its target, with new portfolio contributions, and re-investment of paid out distributions. As part of monitoring asset allocation, I also track a measure of 'absolute' variance, to understand at a whole of portfolio level how far it is from the desired allocation. This is the sum of the absolute value of variances (e.g. so that being 3 per cent under target in shares, and 7 per cent over target in fixed interest will equal an absolute variance of 10 per cent under this measure). This measure is currently sitting near its highest level in around 2 years, at 15.0 per cent, as can be seen in the chart below. [Chart] The dominant reason for this higher level of variance from target is significant appreciation in the price of gold and Bitcoin holdings. Mapping the sources of portfolio variances Changes in target allocations in the past makes direct comparisons problematic, but previous peaks of the variance measure matches almost perfectly past Bitcoin price movements. For a brief period in January 2018, gold and Bitcoin combined constituted 20 per cent, or 1 in 5 dollars of the entire portfolio. Due to the growth in other equity components of the portfolio since this level has not been subsequently exceeded. Nonetheless, it is instructive to understand that the dollar value of combined gold and Bitcoin holdings is actually up around $40 000 from that brief peak. With the larger portfolio, this now means they together make up 17.2 per cent of the total portfolio value. Tacking into the wind of portfolio movements? The logical question to fall out from this situation is: to what extent should this drive an active choice to sell down gold and Bitcoin until they resume their 10 per cent target allocation? This would currently imply selling around $130 000 of gold or Bitcoin, and generating a capital gains tax liability of potentially up to $27 000. Needless to say this is not an attractive proposition. Several other considerations lead me to not make this choice:
The problem may solve itself as portfolio grows - Growth and continued investments in the portfolio will tend to reduce the variance caused by gold and Bitcoin. The asset allocation targeting approach I adopt has seen continued contributions to equities, reducing the ability of these alternative assets to add to future variance.
Falls in Bitcoin or gold values will also solve the problem - Conversely, price falls in Bitcoin or gold will tend to reduce the variance issue, and such price falls have significant precedents, with for example Bitcoin holdings falling to a value of around $50 000 as recently as January 2019.
If neither of these happen, there may be bigger issues to solve - The only scenario where neither of these alleviating factors occur is should gold and Bitcoin continue to rapidly appreciate compared to other assets, in which case it is difficult to see the value of reducing exposure now.
Does Bitcoin even fit the asset allocation model? - Bitcoin in particular is not a well established or accepted asset class as yet, so it may not be appropriate to apply traditional allocation rules to it - it may be functioning more as a hedge or option against extreme states of the world. Linked to this is the high degree of volatility in Bitcoin. Adopting too tight a target on Bitcoin holdings would potentially see a need to buy and sell Bitcoin frequently, where my intention is to actually never purchase any more.
This approach is a departure from a mechanistic implementation of an asset allocation rule. Rather, the approach I take is pragmatic. Tracking course drift in the portfolio components As an example, I regularly review whether a significant fall in Bitcoin prices to its recent lows would alter my monthly decision on where to direct new investments. So far it does not, and the 'signal' continues to be to buy new equities. Another tool I use is a monthly measurement of the absolute dollar variance of Australian and global shares, as well as fixed interest, from their ideal target allocations. The chart below sets this out for the period since January 2019. A positive value effectively represents an over-allocation to a sector, a negative value, an under-allocation compared to target. [Chart] This reinforces the overall story that, as gold and Bitcoin have grown in value, there emerges a larger 'deficit' to the target. Falls in equities markets across February and March also produce visibly larger 'dollar gaps' to the target allocation. This graph enables a tracking of the impact of portfolio gains or losses, and volatility, and a better understanding of the practical task of returning to target allocations. Runaway lines in either direction would be evidence that current approaches for returning to targets were unworkable, but so far this does not appear to be the case. A crossing over: a credit card FI milestone This month has seen a long awaited milestone reached. Calculated on a past three year average, portfolio distributions now entirely meet monthly credit card expenses. This means that every credit card purchase - each shopping trip or online purchase - is effectively paid for by average portfolio distributions. At the start of this journey, distributions were only equivalent to around 40 per cent of credit card expenses. As time has progressed distributions have increased to cover a larger and larger proportion of card expenses. [Chart] Most recently, with COVID-19 related restrictions having pushed card expenditure down further, the remaining gap to this 'Credit Card FI' target has closed. Looked at on an un-smoothed basis, expenditures on the credit card have continued to be slightly lower than average across the past month. The below chart details the extent to which portfolio distributions (red) cover estimated total expenses (green), measured month to month. [Chart] Credit card expenditure makes up around 80 per cent of total spending, so this is not a milestone that makes paid work irrelevant or optional. Similarly, if spending rises as various travel and other restrictions ease, it is possible that this position could be temporary. Equally, should distributions fall dramatically below long term averages in the year ahead, this could result in average distributions falling faster than average monthly card expenditure. Even without this, on a three year average basis, monthly distributions will decline as high distributions received in the second half of 2017 slowly fall out of the estimation sample. For the moment, however, a slim margin exists. Distributions are $13 per month above average monthly credit card bills. This feels like a substantial achievement to note, as one unlooked for at the outset of the journey. Progress Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below. Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 84.8% 114.6% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 103.5% 139.9% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 82.9% 112.1% Summary What feels like a long winter is just passed. The cold days and weeks have felt repetitive and dominated by a pervasive sense of uncertainty. Yet through this time, this wandering off, the portfolio has moved quite steadily back towards it previous highs. That it is even approaching them in the course of just a few months is unexpected. What this obscures is the different components of growth driving this outcome. The portfolio that is recovering, like the index it follows, is changing in its underlying composition. This can be seen most starkly in the high levels of variance from the target portfolio sought discussed above. It is equally true, however, of individual components such as international equity holdings. In the case of the United States the overall index performance has been driven by share price growth in just a few information technology giants. Gold and Bitcoin have emerged from the shadows of the portfolio to an unintended leading role in portfolio growth since early 2019. This month I have enjoyed reading the Chapter by Chapter release of the Aussie FIRE e-book coordinated by Pearler. I've also been reading posts from some newer Australian financial independence bloggers, Two to Fire, FIRE Down Under, and Chasing FIRE Down Under. In podcasts, I have enjoyed the Mad Fientist's update on his fourth year of financial freedom, and Pat and Dave's FIRE and Chill episodes, including an excellent one on market timing fallacies. The ASX Australian Investor Study 2020 has also been released - setting out some broader trends in recent Australian investment markets, and containing a snapshot of the holdings, approaches and views of everyday investors. This contained many intriguing findings, such as the median investment portfolio ($130 000), its most frequent components (direct Australian shares), and how frequently portfolios are usually checked - with 61 per cent of investors checking their portfolios at least once a month. This is my own approach also. Monthly assessments allow me to gauge and reflect on how I or elements of the portfolio may have wandered off the straight way in the middle of the journey. Without this, the risk is that dark woods and bent pathways beckon. The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
I am a massive TSLA bull, my average cost is 250. BUTTTT I cannot justify this current price/market cap.
Been on this train since the 200's... anyone that has been on this ride at this price will understand. I have seen my TSLA position multiply by something i cannot compute in less than two years and watch my account go up and down and held through it all. I recently sold a strong 80% of my position of 75 shares... I was already contemplating selling at 1000+ but greed held me in and it has paid off. The god damn PE and market cap currently does not make sense to me. Yes down the line it will be fucking worth so much more but not now. Also, notice how many investors are entering TSLA when it was 1000+ and also 2000+... its just seems like a bubble. Feels like the initial bitcoin. Yes of course major etfs are hedges are forced to buy for sp inclusion and all that other stuff... im always about exiting positions once the hype train begins. Anyone else in this postion with a low dollar cost AVG??
Many thanks to u/kvramji and u/inertia_2017 whose original Acorns (and subsequently Raiz) guide this is built on top of (with a few FAQs from Raiz themselves). This post was last updated on October 23, 2020, and I'll endeavour to update it periodically. What is Raiz? Raiz is a financial service, helping you to save and invest your money. They enable Australians to start early, invest often, and reach their financial goals. How does Raiz work? Raiz helps you proactively invest. One key feature is round-ups; we round up each of your transactions to the nearest dollar, and invest the change into a diversified portfolio. Simply connect a debit card, or other funding source, then provide us with some basic information. We give you the option of choosing a portfolio that is in line with your investment goals and the amount of risk you’re comfortable taking. Note that Raiz offers other great ways of investing besides round-ups, for more info please see this article. What are the fees? Once an account is opened, there are no fees on $0 balances and after that there is a monthly fee as follows:
An rough idea of monthly fees on a range of balances can be seen below:
Average Monthly Balance
All portfolios (exc. Sapphire)
Any other fees, including any future changes can be found here. Raiz Beginners Guide What’s Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA)? Dollar Cost Averaging is basically spreading your investments in such a way that you can take advantage of the ever fluctuating daily price of stocks. The best example of this concept is given in a simple example here. What do you mean by Portfolio? Raiz uses the money which is put into the app by making you pick a type of profile which is differentiated from one another by the risk involved, as well as a few other characteristics (socially responsible, or an exposure to Bitcoin). The risk factor varies, depending on the portfolio. A breakdown based on portfolio can be found in the table below, including the minimum suggested investment timeframe (MSIT):
Risk Level (Raiz Defined)
Low to Moderate
Moderate to High
3 to 5 years
5 to 7 years
Moderate to High
3 to 5 years
NOTE: Once you decide which portfolio to go by, try to not change between portfolios if you see a loss in the value of the account initially. Stick by it and don’t keep changing portfolio, because you might lose more while changing portfolio because it involves selling and buying stocks at different rates. What portfolio should I pick? Common question. It all depends on the amount of risk you are willing to take. There are also portfolios available if you'd prefer a socially responsible portfolio, or an exposure to Bitcoin. The longer you intend to hold your money in your account, the higher risk you might be willing to take. NOTE: Do NOT panic when you see a down day with a loss against your portfolio. The BEST thing you can think of is DCA. If you have set up recurring investments, you are going to see gains as soon as the stocks go up in price. Which portfolio performs the best? Common question. Raiz releases an annual report that provides a summary of portfolio performance, typically in August. Portfolio performance for the past two years, for all portfolios (excluding Sapphire) can be found here. Something to note: past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Just because a portfolio has done well over the years, it is no guarantee that will continue to be the case, and things such as pandemics, market crashes and the like do happen. Pick a portfolio that suits your needs. What is Raiz Rewards? This is a feature in Raiz which gives you some percentage of the money spent for purchasing with vendors they have tie ups with. The method that you use varies slightly for online and in store purchases. Online Vendors To ensure you can get the rewards, go to your PC to the online retail store and add items to the cart. Make sure you go via the Raiz website (or App) to the vendor either on the PC or mobile. Finalize the payments via the link that Raiz takes you by and finish the purchase. In Store Vendors To ensure you can get the rewards, go to your App, click Rewards -> In-Store. Click the vendor option, and select 'Activate Now'. Then, go shopping in store with that reward partner. Make sure you use a card that is linked to your Raiz account. Payment of Rewards This percentage that is listed in Raiz Rewards can take up to 90 days (typically 30 days for online, 90 days for in store purchases/Raiz Energy) to show up under the Raiz Rewards column in the "History" window in the mobile app. The percentage varies with each vendor. What about dividends? Dividends get paid periodically on the ETF holdings that you have, proportional to the amount of each ETF you own on as of the ex-dividend date. These dividends are invested into your Raiz account, approximately one business day after payment date. Raiz run an annual blog post outlining the dates that dividends are expected to be paid (they vary slightly). That can be found here. What about taxes? Raiz will provide you with tax information at the end of financial year which tells you how to report any earnings from your Raiz account. It comes in the form of a Tax Statement, and is typically available in the third week of July. This can be found in app by going to My Settings -> Support -> View Statements How long do transactions stay in pending? Raiz typically takes up to five business days for taking the money from your account and buying shares and for it to show up as processed. So don’t panic if it takes a few days. It’s a common thing. Well I've read through this and I've got another issue - where can I go for help? The Raiz Support crew are available to help you out with your Raiz issues. I've had personal experiences in the past where I've needed a hand, and they've been really great. You can find more info on how to contact them on the Raiz Support webpage. Or hit them up on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Uniswap on Fire, $UNI Options Broke 4 Records within 2 weeks
https://preview.redd.it/k5tfld8ch1t51.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=62b80c63d9f5887d52a4bef1b9d6cbb809180bc8 After 3 years decentralized exchanges has been through, the market presented a rapid trend especially after AMM (Automated Market Making) was introduced into dex, it lifted up the dex volume from millions to billions. Uniswap, as the most renowned decentralized exchanges, did a huge effect on AMM into decentralized exchanges. Uniswap is a smart contract based on Ethereum for users to swap ETH and ERC20s. The CPMM (Constant Product Market Maker) that Uniswap uses enables users to exchange ERC20s in their token pools. It not only changes the “order book” trading mode, but also lowers the barriers of market-making, which allows every user to become a market maker to a specific trading pair, and earn profits from it. This mechanism is innovative in the yield of DeFi and tries to grab more users from centralized exchanges. After 2-year development, Uniswap became the most renowned DEX based on Ethereum. To stabilize its own market-making, Uniswap did not launch its own governance token until the end of August. The born of SUSHI, which stole more than half of liquidity on Uniswap by their token incentive mechanism. It caused Uniswap once fell to the 10th of all the DeFi projects. After then, Uniswap launched its own governance tokens. After the SUSHI chief cashed out by selling his SUSHI, Uniswap attracted their lost users back with its liquidity that is stable and of high yield. At last, everyone witnessed the king came back and ranked the first TVL on DeFi. On the occasion, BitOffer listed $UNI on their options trading. And 4 records have been broken within 2 weeks: 1. $200 millions Breakout of the Daily Trading Volume: From June to September, the trading volume on Uniswap surged from $1 million to $1 billion. The fact above caused most eye-contacts from the cryptocurrency industry. Therefore, after $UNI was listed on BitOffer Options, the volume on BitOffer UNI Options broke out $200 million, and it is still increasing. In the near future, the daily volume on UNI Options is hopefully to break $1 billion. 2. 100,000Daily Active Users As for now, the total DAU on BitOffer is more than 200,000, and a half of them trade UNI Options. Those users can be divided into 2 types: Buying Options Only & Hedging their UNI Perpetual Swap. Moreover, the second part took up more than 60%. Either traditional finance or cryptocurrency, Futures trading is much more popular than spot trading. To hedge the risk, users who know how to hedge always choose to trade options and futures to set up an arbitrage strategy. As the cryptocurrency developed while DeFi getting hot and the TVL of Uniswap keeps increasing, the number of users who use Options to hedge the risk of the trading perpetual swap will be much huger than now. In addition, since the volatility of $UNI is higher than that of Bitcoin and Ethereum, so buying $UNI Options only or hedging their UNI Perpetual Swap can both have a huge profit space. 3. $UNI Options Owned Most Transactions on September Since September, after $UNI was listed on exchanges, its attentions and participants kept being the top among all the DeFi tokens. Under such a phenomenon, $UNI Options owned the most transactions in September. According to the data on BitOffer, the transactions on BitOffer reached 500,000, which is 2 times to that of LINK Options, and 1 time to that of Bitcoin Options and ETH Options. After Dual-Currency, BTC Ups & Downs, and Cryptocurrency ETF, $UNI Options made it. 4. The Most Likely Products to Investors According to the DAU and daily trading volume of $UNI Options, its audience is much more acceptable than $UNI Perpetual Swap. They are both UNI derivatives but they occupy of $UNI Options is less than UNI futures, but it still has a huge developing room, and that is why investors hold a confident view on $UNI Options, which is expected to have a billions trading volume as $UNI spot trading and futures trading. In addition, with BitOffer, the most renowned Bitcoin Options provider, $UNI Options will attract more and more attentions from the market.
Global internet / internet everywhere is being worked on with Space-x "StarLink", thousands of satellites connecting everyone globally to the internet. Therefore infrastructure for the digital currencies,
Too private makes it ideal for illegal activities. / Can't be controlled as easy, taxed as easy.
All of the above is a partial list of factors devaluing the Dollar and trust in it from several ways and views. At the end of the day it has a huge amount of enemies, that are all looking for ways to get out of it. Some of what I'm seeing personally.
Prices are outpacing wages.
Education is required for a good job vs how things used to be, jobs are getting more technical for same wage value.
Real Estate has been rapidly climbing in price, even homes that haven't been remodeled. A $80,000 home in my area is now $180k in the last 6-7 years. Wages haven't moved.
Rents have been climbing with the real estate prices.
Taxes have increased on said real estate
Insurance cost are up
Repair costs are up
It is a death spiral for the working person, where it used to be "No more than 30% of your wage going to housing" It is now well over 50%....Just look at this recent post in Frugalhttps://www.reddit.com/Frugal/comments/ifqah1/is_it_normal_for_a_third_to_a_half_of_you?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3 This death spiral I foresee getting worse. And historically any "tax" / regulation cost will just be passed down to the consumer in form of increased prices until people / businesses move elsewhere as we've seen in several cities around the US. So what can we do? Buy Gold! Silver! Bitcoin! Stocks! I hear people roar, They aren't exactly wrong as history shows... but have you considered the 30-40% tax on the "gain"? Even when that asset buys the same value before tax? What if the government makes it illegal like the 1933 order: 6102 Where you couldn't own gold for nearly 50 years? You're frozen out, or even out on taxes (which will likely be more strict and controlled later in time). I'd say Invest in things that will
Help you be independent
Can help you save
That you will use anyways in normal living
Things that can be productive not only for you, but for others $
Bonus points if its easy to trade off / has demand
Extra bonus if it is durable (lasts many years)
Helps your health
Metals are the next step when a person has plenty of the above. You get to a point where you have hundreds of thousands, if not millions that you need to condense into something real. It is all about the savings or productivity gain of the investment. For instance I would wager that many preppers have gotten more use / value out of a $800 clothes washer than a $800 rifle. (have you ever had to do manual laundry???) Sure the rifle will hold value...but it often doesn't pay you back with time / what it saved and / or what it has produced during its life unless you are using it. Same can be said of security cameras, a generator, a tractor, trailer, garden, tools, ect. Look at history even, in countries that have experienced hyperinflation people that already had tangibles they regularly use were way ahead. It could even be honey, a tool, extra maintenance parts, can of food, that bottle of medicine, a computer to keep your intel on point, (cough # PrepperIntel plug) use of your equipment to do or make something for someone. Real Estate is good too, it rides inflation well and has many ways of being productive. Your metals could be sitting there like the rifle, and could be subject to hot debate and laws. Meanwhile that garden is paying back, chainsaw is helping saw up wood, or your tractor is helping a job, your tools just helped you fix something / saved you much loss, Your security stopped a loss not by a person, but an random animal stealing things. Or that $25,000 solar array is paying you back by the day in spades...while making you independent...running all your tools you're using to make things to sell, and even heating / cooling some of the house with the extra juice while places around you experience rolling blackouts. You were even smart and took the current 24% tax benefit the government has saving you $5000 on it for batteries. Don't get me started if you have an electric vehicle with solar... I'm rambling at this point...and all those stealthy / direct and passive background savings...even if the crap doesn't hit the fan. So anyways, With out of control central banks and big governments, digital currencies, How do you think it will play out? Are we heading to dystopia?
It is no doubt Grayscale’s booming popularity as a mainstream investment has caused a lot of community hullabaloo lately. As such, I felt it was worth making a FAQ regarding the topic. I’m looking to update this as needed and of course am open to suggestions / adding any questions. The goal is simply to have a thread we can link to anyone with questions on Grayscaleand its products. Instead of explaining the same thing 3 times a day, shoot those posters over to this thread.My hope is that these questions are answered in a fairly simple and easy to understand manner. I think as the sub grows it will be a nice reference point for newcomers. Disclaimer: I do NOT work for Grayscale and as such am basing all these answers on information that can be found on their website / reports. (Grayscale’s official FAQ can be found here). I also do NOT have a finance degree, I do NOT have a Series 6 / 7 / 140-whatever, and I do NOT work with investment products for my day job. I have an accounting background and work within the finance world so I have the general ‘business’ knowledge to put it all together, but this is all info determined in my best faith effort as a layman. The point being is this --- it is possible I may explain something wrong or missed the technical terms, and if that occurs I am more than happy to update anything that can be proven incorrect Everything below will be in reference to ETHE but will apply to GBTC as well.If those two segregate in any way, I will note that accordingly.
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. Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 39 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here Note – The way their reports word this makes it sound like there is an army of authorizers doing the dirty work, but in reality there is only one Authorized Participant. At this moment the “Genesis” company is the sole Authorized Participant. Genesis is owned by the “Digital Currency Group, Inc.” which is the parent company of Grayscale as well. (And to really go down the rabbit hole it looks like DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk and is “backing 150+ companies across 30 countries, including Coinbase, Ripple, and Chainalysis.”) Source: Digital Currency Group, Inc. informational section on page 77 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here Source: Barry E. Silbert informational section on page 75 of the “Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) Form 10-K (2019)” – Located Here
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.
Cash: The investor pays the subscription amount in cash and the Authorized Participant will use that cash to purchase ETH.
ETH: The investor transfers the ETH to the Authorized Participant, which will contribute the ETH in-kind to the Trust.
Source: Creation and Redemption of Shares section on page 40 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
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. As an aside - I would actually love to see if anyone knows more about this as it’s something that’s sort of peaked my interest after being asked about it… I find it doubtful we can find that however. Source: Part C. Business Information, Item 8, subsection A. on page 16 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
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. Source: Redemption Procedures on page 41 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
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. Source: ETHE’s informational page on Grayscale’s website - Located Here Source: Description of Trust on page 31 & 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
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. ETHE & GBTC’s specific information page on Grayscale’s website updates the ratio daily – Located Here For a full historical look at this ratio, it can be found on the Grayscale home page on the upper right side if you go to Tax Documents > 2019 Tax Documents > Grayscale Ethereum Trust 2019 Tax Letter.
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. As noted above, fees are paid by selling off the ETH collateralizing ETHE. So this number will always be trending downward as time goes on. Source: Description of Trust on page 32 of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here
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. Knowing that ETHE cannot be taken back and destroyed at this time, the ETH collateralizing it will not be removed from the wallet for the foreseeable future. While it is not fully locked in the sense of say a totally lost key, it is not coming out any time soon. Per their annual statement:
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.) That said, there shouldn’t be any worry in the short to medium time-frame. As noted above, Grayscale can’t really remove ETH other than for fees or termination of the product. At 2.5% a year, fees are noise in terms of volume. Grayscale seems to be the fastest growing product in the crypto space at the moment and termination of the product seems unlikely. IF redemptions were to happen tomorrow, it’s extremely unlikely we would see a mass exodus out of the product to redeem for ETH. And even if there was incentive to get back to ETH, the premium makes it so that it would be much more cost effective to just sell your ETHE on the secondary market and buy ETH yourself. Remember, any redemption is up to the investors and NOT something Grayscale has direct control over.
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. Source: Independent Auditor Report starting on page 116 (of the PDF itself) of the “Grayscale Ethereum Trust Annual Report (2019)” – Located Here As mentioned by user TheCrpytosAndBloods (In Comments Below), a fun fact:
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:
Access to trading within a tax advantaged retirement account
Institutions can easily and safely get exposure to crypto in a more legal-friendly manner
Ease of use for those who are not very technologically savvy
Ease of access for someone who doesn’t want to set up a Coinbase account
Perceived trust in institutional platforms over something like Coinbase or Kraken
Degen traders who just want access to the volatility ETHE provides that have no interest in crypto beyond that
So for example, I can set up an IRA at a brokerage account that has $0 trading fees. Then I can trade GBTC and ETHE all day without having to worry about tracking my taxes. All with the relative safety something like E-Trade provides over Binance. As for how it benefits the everyday ETH holder? I think the supply lock is a positive. I also think this product exposes the Ethereum ecosystem to people who otherwise wouldn’t know about it.
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:
ETHE is NOT redeeming shares and as such doesn’t have an effective arbitrage mechanism
ETHE has a 1 year wait to be sold on the secondary market, again negating the ability to effectively arbitrage the premium
People may simply be willing to pay a premium for the benefits stated above.
Why is ETHE’s so much higher the GBTC’s? Again, a few thoughts:
ETHE hasn’t been around as long, so there is less secondary market supply to go around
ETHE was listed at an insanely high premium to begin with
ETHE might simply be more popular at the moment
Could just be sheer stupidity (investors think ETHE is a 1:1 ratio not 1:11)
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. For those more into a GAAP style report see the 2019 annual 10-K of the same location.
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. In terms of institutional and accredited investors, there are a few ‘fan favorites’ such as Bitcoin Cash, Litcoin, Stellar, XRP, and Zcash. Something called Horizion (Backed by ZEN I guess? Idk to be honest what that is…). And a diversified Mutual Fund type fund that has a little bit of all of those. None of these products are available on the secondary market.
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. Per user Over-analyser (in comments below):
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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