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State of Wisconsin Buys Bitcoin ETF Following Financial Giants

2 mins
Updated by Bary Rahma
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In Brief

  • SWIB's $99 million investment in BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust.
  • This strategic purchase reflects growing institutional investments.
  • JPMorgan and Wells Fargo have also disclosed substantial holdings.
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The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) has made a significant move in the cryptocurrency market by purchasing $99 million worth of BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETFs, iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT).

This acquisition, disclosed in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), highlights the growing trend of institutional investment in Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Wisconsin’s Strategic Move

The financial markets have been buzzing since spot Bitcoin ETFs were approved in January. These investment vehicles have quickly gained traction among institutional investors. For instance, notable financial entities such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan have already disclosed their holdings in Bitcoin ETFs.

SWIB, responsible for managing assets within various state trust funds, including the Wisconsin Retirement System and the State Investment Fund, now has strategically positioned itself in the growing ETF market. By investing nearly $100 million in BlackRock’s offering, Wisconsin joins a growing list of institutional investors betting on the future of crypto.

“Normally you don’t get these big fish institutions in the 13Fs for a year or so (when the ETF gets more liquidity) but as we’ve seen these are no ordinary launches. Good sign, expect more, as institutions tend to move in herds,” Bloomberg Senior ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas said.

The investments towards these new financial vehicles show no signs of slowing down. Over the last 24 hours, nearly $66 million in net inflows were recorded, bringing the total inflows to almost $11.75 billion. Among the notable gainers were FBTC, which received $39 million in inflows; BITB, which received $20 million; and HODL, which received $7 million.

Bitcoin ETF Flow
Bitcoin ETF Flow. Source: Farside Investors

Other financial giants have similarly ramped up their investments. Bracebridge Capital has invested $363 million in spot Bitcoin ETFs, while Bank of Montreal has also disclosed owning Bitcoin ETFs in a recent SEC filing. Additionally, UBS Group AG, a Switzerland-based investment bank, invested $145,692 in IBIT.

The influx of institutional investments into its ETFs signifies a pivotal shift in the financial sector. It points to a growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class, paving the way for broader adoption and integration of digital assets into mainstream finance.

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Shota Oba
After interning at a domestic blockchain media company while enrolled at a university in international relations, he worked as an intern trainee at two foreign crypto asset exchanges. Currently, as a journalist, he focuses on the Japanese crypto asset market, both technical and fundamental analysis. He has been trading crypto assets since 2021 and is interested in economic and social affairs.