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Bitcoin ETF: The List of Major Institutional Investors Revealed!

Fri 17 May 2024 ▪ 4 min of reading ▪ by Nicolas T.

We finally know who the early investors in Bitcoin ETFs are. There are some notable names.

bitcoin etfs

Bitcoin ETFs

Bitcoin ETFs are experiencing tremendous success. They have attracted nearly $12 billion since their launch on January 11.

They collectively represent nothing less than the most popular ETF launch in the history of ETFs. Bitcoin has since appreciated by 43%. But who is buying?

Are these mainly institutional and professional investors, or rather individuals? This is an important question. Indeed, the firepower of institutional investors is unrivaled.

It was not possible to answer this question during the first months as investors buy ETF shares through financial intermediaries. The companies that manage the ETFs (Bitwise, Fidelity, BlackRock, etc.) therefore do not automatically know who their true clients are.

However, once a quarter, the SEC requires investors managing more than $100 million to disclose their holdings through a report called the “13F Filing.”

The deadline for this filing was May 15. It reveals that the total value of all declared positions amounts to $5.2 billion, spread across 929 institutions. It’s immense…

This includes iconic asset managers such as:

  • Millennium: $1.9 billion
  • Susquehanna International Group: $1 billion
  • Boothbay Fund Management: $377 million
  • Morgan Stanley : $270 million
  • Pine Ridge Advisers: $205 million
  • Bracebridge Capital: $434 million
  • State Wisconsin Investment Board: $99 million
  • Brown Advisory : $96 million
  • Crcm Lp: $96 million
  • Hightower Advisors: $68 million (managing $122 billion)
  • Cambridge Investment Research: $40 million
  • Yong Rong Asset Management: $38 million
  • Legacy Wealth Management: $28 million
  • Quattro Advisors : $19 million
  • Sequoia Financial Advisors: $12 million

The Millennium Fund King of ETFs

Millennium is the largest holder of Bitcoin ETF shares with nearly $2 billion spread across four ETFs.

There are over 900 holders, more than 360 times the average for a new ETF. It should also be noted that over 60% of the investments come from investment funds. Moreover, all categories of investors are represented.

Thus, even banks have succumbed to the lure of bitcoin. Morgan Stanley joins the list of globally systemically important banks investing in Bitcoin ETFs. This includes Royal Bank of Canada, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, and UBS.

Another notable institutional investor is the Wisconsin Investment Board state retirement fund. This is all the more remarkable as pension funds generally never invest in ETFs so soon after their launch.

Matt Hougan, CIO of ETF issuer Bitwise, stated that the Bitcoin allocations revealed in the first-quarter 13F filings were just an “advance payment”.

Most professional investors will take six to twelve months to make a decision, he said.

“Many funds start allocating funds from all of their clients only six months after the initial allocation. Allocations range from 1 to 5% of the portfolio”, Mr. Hougan wrote in a note to his clients on Tuesday.

It is hard not to stay optimistic in the face of this deluge of institutional investors. Bitcoin is regaining altitude following this excellent news.

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Nicolas T. avatar
Nicolas T.

Bitcoin, geopolitical, economic and energy journalist.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.