Osprey’s Bitcoin Trust Ups the Ante in Race to Displace GBTC

Osprey Funds is filing to register its Osprey Bitcoin Trust (OBTC) as a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting company.

If the U.S. regulator deems the Form 10 filing effective, Osprey would become the second cryptocurrency investment vehicle to become an SEC reporting company, following the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). 

Osprey is part of a crop of new bitcoin funds aimed squarely at the market-leading GBTC before a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is approved by the SEC. This includes offerings from Bitwise Asset Management, BlockFi and CrossTower that look to give traditional investors exposure to bitcoin without having to touch the asset itself. 

The Osprey registration would increase transparency and liquidity for the trust, requiring it to file audited financial statements with the SEC. It would also reduce the holding period for OBTC shares from 12 months to six months, putting it on par with GBTC. (Grayscale is owned by Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk’s parent company.)

Also similar to GBTC, Osprey can be accessed directly by accredited investors and indirectly by retail investors via over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks.

OBTC boasts a 0.49% management fee compared to GBTC’s 2% annual fee, but the Osprey fund also has 0.3% in other expenses from services like crypto custody.