Bitcoin Price Bounces After Institutions Reveal $10.7B In Q1 Spot ETF Buys – The Defiant

More than 900 institutional entities disclosed spot Bitcoin ETF share holdings worth at least $100M each.

Bitcoin is rallying after leading U.S. investment firms, institutions, and banks outed themselves as among the largest spot BTC ETF whales.

May 15 comprised the deadline for U.S. investment firms holding at least nine figures worth of spot Bitcoin ETF shares to disclose their Q1 holdings via 13F filings.

Data from Fintel shows that 929 investment firms disclosed ownership in spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with the funds buying up $10.7 billion combined.

The news served as a boon to the Bitcoin markets, with the price of BTC up nearly 6% in the past 24 hours to last change hands for $66,200, according to CoinGecko.

BTC/USD. Source: CoinGecko.

Data compiled by Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, shows that Millennium Management, an alternative asset manager commanding $64 billion in assets, is the largest institutional spot Bitcoin ETF shareholder with a more than $1.8 billion stake across four funds.

Analysis from Pivfund2100, a financial influencer, shows Susquehanna International Group coming in second with more than $1.23 billion worth of shares, followed by Horizon Kinetics with $907.8 million.

Notably, Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s largest investment banks, also holds spot Bitcoin ETF shares valued at $269.9 million.

Balchunas noted that approximately 60% of institutional spot Bitcoin ETF whales are investment advisors, with hedge funds also accounting for a sizable share of investors at 25%. 

“Never can be sure what [hedge funds] are up to but they were def big buyers,” he said.

Whales pile into Grayscale and BlackRock ETFs

Pivfund2100’s data indicated that 65% of institutions reported holding shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF, despite the fund suffering heavy outflows since converting from an exchange-traded product (ETP) in January.

Pivfund2100 noted that the majority of GBTC investors that purchased shares before November — when GBTC was trading at a significant discount relative to Bitcoin — have since reduced their position to realize arbitrage gains.

According to YCharts, the price of GBTC began trading below parity with Bitcoin in February 2021 and tagged a low at a more than 48% discount in late December 2022. GBTC then steadily closing the gap, regaining parity with Bitcoin in January of this year. However, roughly $17.5 billion has exited the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust since its conversion.

the-defiant
GBTC discount or premium relative to BTC. Source: YCharts.

Institutional holdings account for $4.05 billion worth of GBTC’s $19.1 billion worth of assets, according to Sosovalue.

IBIT, the spot Bitcoin ETF from BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, ranked second with 45% of investors holding its shares. The 13F filings account for $3.2 billion of its $18.1 billion in assets.

Millennium Management is IBIT’s largest institutional investor with $824 million in shares, followed by Shonfield Strategic Advisors with $248 million, and Aristeia Capital with $163 million.

Fidelity’s FBTC fund was the fourth-most popular spot Bitcoin ETF among institutional whales with $2.1 billion of its $10.3 billion in assets under management (AUM). Millennium Management was again the largest FBTC investor with $806.6 million, followed by Schonfield with $231.8 million.

The Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF ranked fourth with $759 million of its $3B AUM.

Tip of the iceburg

Matt Hougan, the chief investment officer at Bitwise, said the filings left him feeling “incredibly bullish.”

Hougan argued that despite the filings indicating professional investors own between 7% and 10% of Bitcoin ETFs’ AUM, the initial tranche of 13F filings likely detail a mere “down payment” preceding serious institutional allocations into a new asset class.

Hougan noted that many of the disclosed allocations account for a fraction of a percentage of institutions’ AUMs, suggesting that many firms will likely build up to mobilizing 1% of their assets over time.

“Multiply that by the growing number of professional investors participating in the space, and you can begin to see what’s behind my enthusiasm,” Hougan said.

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