With digital asset management firm Grayscale refusing to provide proof of reserves for its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), an independent analyst has spent days combing through the blockchain to independently verify its holdings.
The OXT Research analyst, Ergo, used on-chain forensics to confirm that as of Nov. 23 that the GBTC owns approximately 633,000 Bitcoin (BTC) held by its custodian, Coinbase Custody.
The Grayscale G(BTC) Coins Part 2
In this analysis we use additional on-chain forensics to CONFIRM the approximate 633k BTC balance held by G(BTC) at Coinbase Custody.
Which begs the question, why does Grayscale refuse to disclose their on-chain holdings? https://t.co/lj7KH5thIf pic.twitter.com/pGMzgomFCp
— ∴Ergo∴ (@ErgoBTC) November 23, 2022
Since the collapse of FTX, there has been increasing pressure on other exchanges and digital asset managers to prove they hold the funds they claim. A GBTC collapse, or liquidation of its holdings, would be a serious black swan event. Concerns have been heightened due to Grayscale’s relationship with embattled crypto lender Genesis Global Trading, given both are subsidiaries of venture capital firm Digital Currency Group.
The independent verification of its holdings will give some level of confidence to investors of the product and the industry as a whole, and follow Coinbase attesting to the holdings earlier in the week.
Ergo announced they were looking into the holdings of GBTC in a Nov. 20 tweet after Grayscale cited security concerns as their reason for withholding on-chain proof of reserves on Nov. 18.
Knowing that most of the assets had recently been transferred from Grayscale’s previous security provider Xapo to Coinbase Custody, Ergo was able to use public data and chain forensics to attribute a balance of about 317,705 BTC in 432 addresses to likely GBTC custody activity.
Related: Bitcoin price still due $12K dip, says trader as ETF guru backs GBTC
To find the rest of the BTC held by GBTC, Ergo had to “scan the blockchain” in order to find additional addresses which fit the profile of those they…