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US State Becomes First To Purchase Bitcoin Worth $99M

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
Piles of Bitcoin coins; US flag background
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The State of Wisconsin made headlines by being the first state in the United States to invest a significant amount, $99 million, in Bitcoin.

The purchase was revealed through a filing by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, which disclosed its ownership of nearly $100 million worth of the iShares Bitcoin Trust, an exchange-traded fund managed by BlackRock.

According to recent filings, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board held approximately $99 million worth of Bitcoin investments by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Wisconsin Bitcoin holdings were detailed in a 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing ownership of 2,450,400 shares of the iShares Bitcoin Trust valued at $99,167,688.

Additionally, by the end of March, the board held 1,013,000 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) worth around $63,687,310.

Investment Strategy and Insight

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board's decision to invest in Bitcoin is a significant advancement in cryptocurrency investment, indicating increasing institutional interest in digital assets, particularly through established financial instruments such as ETFs.

"The move to invest in the iShares Bitcoin ETF represents a strategic approach by the Wisconsin Investment Board," noted AltcoinBuzz in a post.

"It allows them to gain exposure to Bitcoin without the complexities of direct ownership, such as storage and security concerns."

Furthermore, other Institutions can participate in the cryptocurrency market through regulated and structured investment tools by opting for ETFs like the iShares Bitcoin Trust.

US Bitcoin Purchase

The purchase by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board is a trend of institutional adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Institutions now see digital assets as a viable component of diversified investment portfolios, and they manage their funds using the expertise and infrastructure of established financial institutions.

Most recently, Keith Ammon, New Hampshire State Representative, initiated a discussion on diversifying the state’s financial reserves by investing in Bitcoin ETFs.

"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," remarked Bloomberg Intelligence senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.

"Good sign, expect more, as institutions tend to move in herds."

Additionally, the board also held shares of other cryptocurrency firms, such as Coinbase, Marathon Digital, Riot Platforms, Block, Cipher Mining, Cleanspark, and MicroStrategy.

ETF Expansion for BTC?

On Monday, a recent report by Bitcoinist suggested that Bitcoin ETFs could see substantial transition.

Using New Hampshire as an example, Ammon's analysis points out the benefits of allocating funds to Bitcoin.

If New Hampshire had allocated just 5% ($4.65 million) of its 2016 rainy day fund to Bitcoin, it would now be worth nearly half a billion dollars ($473 million), a 10,000% return on investment.

Manuel Nordeste, Fidelity’s Vice President of Digital Assets, was also mentioned, highlighting the increasing inclination of major pension funds and large banks to invest in spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Nordeste disclosed that 25% of pension managers have personal investments in digital assets, signaling a significant change in interest within the digital asset market.

Ammon suggests that if only 1% of state pension assets under management ($5.5 trillion) were to flow into Bitcoin, it would surpass mining revenue, resulting in a supply shortage relative to demand and potentially driving up Bitcoin prices further.