Mark Zuckerberg beat the twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to the punch in launching Facebook. Now someone else seems to be stealing a march on their plan to launch an investment scheme for bitcoin.
SecondMarket, an American online marketplace, announced today that it’s launching a new bitcoin trust—a way for companies and rich people to invest in the virtual currency. It’s a structure that looks not unlike the bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) announced in July by the Winklevoss twins; but while there’s no date set for the launch of the Winklevoss ETF, SecondMarket’s trust is raising capital now, though investors won’t start trading shares until early 2014.
Called simply Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT), the new fund will essentially buy a bunch of bitcoins (SecondMarket has so far put $2.25 million of its own money into doing so), and investors will buy shares in the trust, much as they would in an ETF. However, it will be open only to institutional investors, such as pension funds, and “accredited investors,” people who make more than $200,000 per year or are worth more than $1 million excluding their primary residence.