Jan 30, 2023
Osprey Funds Sues Grayscale for Misleading Advertising on Crypto Trust
(Bloomberg) -- Digital-asset manager Osprey Funds is the latest firm to file a lawsuit against rival Grayscale Investments over its nearly $15 billion Bitcoin fund.
Osprey accused Grayscale of conducting “false and misleading advertising” for the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (ticker GBTC) since late 2020, according to a complaint filed Monday in Connecticut Superior Court. Grayscale presented that GBTC would be converted into an exchange-traded fund as “foregone conclusion, when it knew that access was never likely to happen,” the suit read. US regulators denied Grayscale’s application for ETF conversion in June, prompting the firm to sue the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Because of those “unfair trade practices,” Osprey alleges that Grayscale has been able to conquer 99.5% of assets in trust-based crypto products despite the fact that GBTC’s fee is four times higher than a similar offering from Osprey. Fairfield, Connecticut-based Osprey manages about $100 million in assets.
“The lawsuit filed by Osprey Funds against Grayscale Investments is frivolous. The conversion of GBTC to an ETF is the best long-term product structure for Grayscale’s investors, and approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF would directly benefit our industry peers. At Grayscale, we remain confident in our common sense, compelling legal arguments, and we look forward to a final decision from the DC Court of Appeals by Fall 2023,” according to a Grayscale spokeswoman.
GBTC launched in 2013 versus Osprey’s Bitcoin trust, which was created in 2019.
Osprey had previously called out GBTC’s deep discount — currently around 41% — announcing earlier in January that it was looking to be installed as the sponsor of the beleaguered product in order to spur changes that could help narrow that gap. It also said at the time that were it in charge, it would reduce GBTC’s management fee from its current 2% tag.
But GBTC has come under fire on numerous other fronts, thanks to its trading at a discount, as well as due to troubles at its parent company, Digital Currency Group, whose Genesis lending unit recently filed for bankruptcy. Hedge fund Fir Tree filed a lawsuit against the asset manager related to GBTC’s discount, while Valkyrie launched an activist campaign to unseat Grayscale.
Osprey said in Monday’s filing that “through various unfair and deceptive devices, Grayscale has promoted itself and its sponsored trusts, including the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, by suggesting that their services provide access to investment opportunities that are safer and less susceptible to risk than they actually are.”
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