Morgan Stanley Reveals $269 Million Investment in Grayscale’s GBTC

Morgan Stanley, the sixth-largest banking firm in the United States, has invested over $269 million in a spot Bitcoin ETF, as disclosed in its recently published Form 13-F.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing revealed that the investment was made in Grayscale’s GBTC during the first quarter of 2024.

Morgan Stanley Joins Banks Investing in ETFs

Morgan Stanley’s recent investment positions it as one of the largest holders of GBTC. It closely follows Susquehanna International Group’s substantial $1.0 billion investment.

The firm is among several Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs) that have publicly disclosed investments in spot Bitcoin ETFs. Other banks investing in the ETFs include the Royal Bank of Canada, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, and UBS.

These allocations were highlighted in the first-quarter 13F reporting deadline, the end of the initial period for investors to purchase most spot Bitcoin ETFs. According to Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan, approximately 700 professional firms have invested nearly $5 billion in spot Bitcoin ETFs by the May 15 deadline.

Hougan described this trend as representing a “historical scale of professional investor ownership.” He explained that this was similar to the launch of gold ETFs in 2004, which was reported as the most successful ETF launch.

Despite the increase in institutional capital, retail investments constitute a significant portion of the funds invested in spot Bitcoin ETFs. Notably, recent data shows that the total assets under management (AUM) are approximately $50 billion.

Growing Institutional Interest in Bitcoin ETFs

Several other firms have disclosed their investments in spot Bitcoin ETFs, highlighting the growing institutional interest in crypto assets.

On May 14, New York advisory firm Pine Ridge Advisers revealed a $205.8 million investment in spot Bitcoin ETFs. This investment comprises $83.2 million in BlackRock’s IBIT, $93.4 million in Fidelity’s FBTC, and $29.3 million in Bitwise’s BITB.

In addition, alternative asset manager Aristeia Capital LLC disclosed a substantial $163.4 million investment in IBIT on May 15. Similarly, Connecticut-based investment firm Graham Capital Management disclosed investments totaling $98.8 million in IBIT and $3.8 million in FBTC. Hedge fund manager Crcm LP also revealed a $96.6 million investment in IBIT.

New York-based hedge fund manager Boothbay Fund Management disclosed a significant $377 million exposure to spot Bitcoin ETFs. This investment includes $149.8 million in IBIT, $105.5 million in FBTC, $69.5 million in GBTC, and $52.3 million in BITB.

Furthermore, New York investment manager Fortress Investment Group LLC disclosed a $53.6 million investment in IBIT, adding to the growing list of institutional players entering the crypto space.

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