Wisconsin Investment Board Allocates $99 Million to Spot BTC ETFs
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SWIB’s Spot BTC ETF Investment

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) has invested $99 million in the iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT). The revelation came through a 13F filing on May 14, 2024, showcasing the Board’s confidence in the burgeoning digital asset market.

Besides investing in IBIT, SWIB owns 1,013,000 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), worth approximately $63.6 million as of April 30, 2024. Additionally, the Board owns shares in other cryptocurrency firms, including Marathon Digital, Coinbase, Block, Riot Platforms, Cipher Mining, MicroStrategy, and Cleanspark.

IBIT Surpasses $10 Billion AUM Milestone in 49 Days

Having surpassed the $10 billion assets under management (AUM) mark in just 49 days, IBIT has set a new record, outpacing traditional ETFs by a significant margin. Previously, the JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF (JEPQ) held the record, taking around three trading years to reach $10 billion AUM. 

However, IBIT’s rapid ascent to this milestone demonstrates the increasing mainstream adoption of BTC-centric investment vehicles. Analysts anticipate that the Board’s foray into cryptocurrency investments could pave the way for more institutional players to follow suit. As Balchunas aptly says, “Good sign, expect more, as institutions tend to move in herds.”

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Bank of Montreal’s Bitcoin ETF Holdings

Like the SWIB, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) unveiled its exposure to spot BTC ETFs per its recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This move underscores the continued interest of traditional financial institutions in the cryptocurrency market.

The disclosure revealed that BMO holds spot BTC ETFs with four major issuers: Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, BlackRock, and Grayscale. With assets exceeding $1 trillion, BMO’s embrace of these ETFs marks a notable step in integrating digital assets into its investment portfolio.

Following the SEC’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs on January 11, 2024, conventional financial institutions have been increasingly drawn to these investment vehicles. Wells Fargo, for instance, disclosed its exposure to spot Bitcoin ETFs in a recent filing with the SEC, signaling a broader trend within the industry.

JPMorgan Chase also disclosed its ETF holdings, further amplifying positive sentiment surrounding BTC’s institutional adoption. This confidence from institutional investors has fueled optimism among other categories of investors. Hence, there should be increased fund inflows into these cryptocurrency products.

Bitcoin’s Resurgence Driven by Institutional Inflows

The approval of Bitcoin ETFs in January and the surge in institutional interest catalyzed a bullish momentum, propelling BTC’s price from around $44,000 to approximately $73,000 in March 2024. This fund influx led to net positive flows for spot Bitcoin ETFs during the first quarter of 2024. 

This influx of institutional capital has played a pivotal role in revitalizing BTC’s market dynamics and instilling renewed investor confidence. 

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George Ward

By George Ward

George Ward is a crypto journalist and market analyst at Herald Sheets, known for his engaging articles on the latest digital currency trends. With a background in finance and journalism, he presents complex topics accessibly. George holds a degree in Business and Finance from the University of Cambridge.

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