- BlackRock and Fidelity have accumulated over $5 billion in Bitcoin through their new spot ETFs, but still trail behind long-time institutional investors like Grayscale and MicroStrategy.
- Grayscale remains the top holder of Bitcoin with over 600,000 BTC in its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, though its first-mover advantage is being challenged by Wall Street’s ETFs.
- The US Government actually holds the most Bitcoin estimated at over 92,000 BTC seized from cases like Silk Road, but does not actively trade or invest based on the market.
Wall Street titans BlackRock and Fidelity have made a huge splash with their new spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In just a few weeks since approval from the SEC, the two firms have accumulated over $5 billion worth of Bitcoin. However, they still trail behind the world’s biggest holders of cryptocurrency.
BlackRock and Fidelity’s Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Bet
BlackRock’s iShares and Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin ETFs have pulled far ahead of competitors like Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest. Their combined assets under management sit at a staggering $14 trillion.
Since getting the green light from regulators on January 10, BlackRock and Fidelity have quickly built up over $5 billion in Bitcoin holdings between them. This massive capital injection has allowed them to dominate trading volume and liquidity versus other new spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Grayscale – The Incumbent Bitcoin Whale
While Wall Street crashes the Bitcoin ETF party, Grayscale remains the top holder of Bitcoin with over 600,000 BTC in its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. After years of rejection and legal battles, Grayscale finally got SEC approval for a spot Bitcoin ETF. However, its first-mover advantage is being challenged by the rapid growth of BlackRock and Fidelity’s offerings.
MicroStrategy – Bitcoin’s Biggest Corporate Investor
Behind Grayscale sits blockchain intelligence company MicroStrategy, led by vocal Bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor. Through both bull and bear markets, MicroStrategy has consistently accumulated Bitcoin, now holding around 189,150 BTC worth over $8 billion.
Saylor sees Bitcoin ETFs as complementary rather than competitive. He touts MicroStrategy’s lack of fees and ability to leverage its Bitcoin investments as key advantages over Wall Street’s ETFs.
The US Government – Building Its Bitcoin Stash
Surprisingly, the US Government holds the most Bitcoin of any entity, estimated at over 92,000 BTC. But this stash has been built up slowly through seizures by regulators like the IRS, rather than active investment.
High-profile cases like Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht have added tens of thousands of BTC to government coffers. But liquidating these assets is a long process mired in bureaucracy. So while the government sits on billions in Bitcoin, it does not trade based on market factors.
While Wall Street giants muscle into the Bitcoin market, long-time corporate and institutional investors still hold the most BTC. It remains to be seen whether BlackRock and Fidelity’s ETFs can unseat these incumbents over the long term. For now, the race is on to become the world’s biggest Bitcoin whale.