The Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT) now holds more than 100,000 BTC, according to Barry Silbert, CEO of SecondMarket and founder of the trust.
Silbert has big plans for the Bitcoin Investment Trust, which is expected to open for public investors sometime in the fourth quarter of 2014. For the time being, the trust is a private investment vehicle but once it opens to the general public, the fund is expected to attract a new breed of bitcoin investors.
Silbert believes the 100,000 mark is a big milestone for BIT, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. After all, this grand total amounts to almost $40m at press time.
— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) April 10, 2014
As it stands, Silbert’s BIT and the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust are vying for the same market, both must overcome a number of hurdles. However, BIT appears to have an advantage: it is not an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Hence, Silbert does not need approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, but the Winklevoss twins do.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss filed their bitcoin investment fund with the SEC back in July 2013. Last month the Winklevoss' chief legal counsel Kathleen H Moriarty told CoinDesk that the ETF should be approved by the end of the year.
White the BIT does not have to jump through SEC hoops, it does have to meet some unique requirements to remain exempt from the SEC approval process. Silbert explained the process and outlined his plans for BIT expansion in an interview with CoinDesk two weeks ago.
Reshaping the bitcoin investment landscape
Silbert’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust and the Pantera Bitcoin Partners fund could change the way people invest in bitcoin, but more importantly they could change the way investors feel about the currency.
These organisations are not designed with speculators in mind, however. Bitcoin investment funds are going after traditional investors who do not have a habit of entering unregulated markets and investing in speculative investment vehicles.
It is still too early to say whether these funds can broaden the investor base and make digital currencies more appealing in traditional circles. Regardless of how much traction they get, they are likely to improve public perception among many who are reluctant to enter the niche.