It has been a whirlwind year for the cryptocurrency space. With the coronavirus pandemic impacting markets and businesses suffering. As a result, many have turned to the asset as a haven. However, while most Bitcoin rallies have been the result of improved adoption from individuals, institutional interest in the asset has been the theme.
Grayscale: The Blue Whale
Earlier this week, crypto and blockchain research firm Coin98 Analytics published a picture showing some of the top publicly-traded companies that have made big Bitcoin bets this year. The image ranked names in terms of how much Bitcoin they had bought, confirming that the top ten firms’ cumulative investment amounted to about 600,00 BTC (worth $6 billion).
As expected, Grayscale Investments topped the list. The New York-based firm has solidified its place as the largest asset management firm in the crypto space by far. This year, the company made even larger bets on the top cryptocurrency as it now holds $5.1 billion in assets under management.
Grayscale’s hold on the institutional market is nothing short of impressive. In the last week of September, monitoring source Bybt confirmed that the company had purchased an additional 17,000 BTC into its Bitcoin Investment Trust.
The number essentially means that Grayscale now holds a staggering 2.4 percent of the total Bitcoins in circulation. According to data from CoinMarketCap, there are 18.516 million Bitcoin tokens available today. With the asset having a hard cap of 21 million, there are only a little less than 2.5 million units left to be mined. With Grayscale holding 449,900 tokens (worth $5.14 billion) already, the firm could stop purchasing any more today and still have over two percent of the total assets in circulation when the last Bitcoin gets mined.
Other Companies Coming Up
Coming in a distant second place is CoinShares, another top asset management firm that is expanding its business across the industry. As Coin98 Analytics showed, the firm has 69,730 BTC (worth $797 million).
In third place is MicroStrategy. The Virginia-based provider of cloud-based business intelligence solutions has been on a rampant adoption spree of its own, with the firm announcing the adoption of a “Bitcoin standard” in July. Per a company press release at the time, MicroStrategy successfully purchased 21,454 BTC for $250 million. Days later, company chief executive Michael Saylor confirmed that they had bought a further 17,000 BTC — bringing its total Bitcoin haul to about $425 million.
Crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital came in fourth. The firm took out ad space in the Financial Times in August, encouraging people to adopt Bitcoin now n the face of economic uncertainty. It’s unclear how well this worked for the firm, although Grayscale made a similar move and claimed to have enjoyed its best week ever due to that.
Other firms include payment processor Square – the brainchild of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that purchased $50 million in BTC last week.