Shareholders also "take no part in the management or control of the Trust. Under the Trust Agreement, shareholders have limited voting rights," the filing said.
Valkyrie Investments offered to take over operation of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust at a lower fee — 0.75% annually — and Valkyrie's co-founder and chief investment officer Steven McClurg said his firm and several different shareholder groups including RedeemGBTC.com, a site run by David Bailey, also in Nashville; Fir Tree, and others could call for a proxy vote to change sponsors, and "then vote for us to run GBTC."
In an interview, Mr. McClurg said a proxy vote can be called with 10% of the shares held by at least two separate shareholders, and "it looks like that's already gathered among various groups. With RedeemGBTC.com, there's probably 20% of shareholders" that have banded together, he said.
In a letter published in late December on its website, Valkyrie offered to take over sponsorship of Grayscale.
Founded in 2020, Valkyrie offered to become the new sponsor and manager of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, while at the same time announcing the launch of an opportunistic fund to take advantage of the discount.
Valkyrie manages about $200 million in the digital asset management firm, and manages its own bitcoin fund, which has daily liquidity. The firm also launched publicly traded bitcoin ETFs in 2021, including the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF on Nasdaq. That fund holds bitcoin futures.
"They're a legitimate firm in this space," said James Seyffart, ETF research analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. Valkyrie is joining the "Big 4" cryptocurrency ETF sponsors, which includes Grayscale, Bitwise, Van Eck and WisdomTree, he said.
"Valkyrie have the expertise, but they let go of some staff late last year," Mr. Seyffart said.
In the letter, Valkyrie outlined its three-point plan for Grayscale: facilitate an orderly redemption for investors at NAV through a Regulation M filing with the SEC; lower the annual fees to 0.75% from 2% currently; and honor investor redemptions in both bitcoin and cash.
Grayscale currently charges a 2% sponsor fee annually, but the fee is calculated on the market value of bitcoin, rather than the much lower market price of the GBTC shares.