Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley may now be the largest institutional holder of the world’s biggest Bitcoin ($BTC) fund, the Grayscale Bitcoin Fund (GBTC), as it has been loading up on shares while the previous largest holder, Ark Invest, has been dumping them.
GBTC is the largest publicly traded bitcoin fund in the world, with over 700,000 investors and over $24 billion in assets Regulatory filings seen by Blockworks reportedly show Morgan Stanley now owns more than 13 million GBTC shares across 17 different portfolios. These shares are worth over $345 million.
The news outlet detailed that the Morgan Stanley Growth Portfolio, which in August of last year held 2.3 million shares, has nearly doubled its position to about 4.3 million. The portfolio has over $10.7 billion in assets under management and holds the largest GBTC position of Morgan Stanley’s 17 portfolios with exposure to the fund.
The firm’s Insight Fund, which manages $3.7 billion in assets, also added more shares to now hold over $60 million worth of GBTC.
Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest was, according to previous regulatory filings, the largest shareholder of GBTC with 7.9 million shares worth nearly $210 million. While most finance portals seemingly show Ark Invest is still the largest institutional holder of the fund, data tracking Ark Invest’s exposure to GBTC seems to show the company has been getting rid of shares over the last few months.
According to one website tracking the funds, Ark Invest now holds 6.163 million GBTC shares, worth nearly $160 million. The change would make Morgan Stanley the largest institutional holder of GBTC shares.
As CryptoGlobe reported, Morgan Stanley has been accumulating since last year. Earlier this year analysts at Morgan Stanley have, in a research note titled “State of the Bear Market,” downplayed bitcoin’s 50% correction from its all-time high seen in November as the figures show the drop was within historical norms.
In the note, the analysts wrote that if the price of bitcoin drops below the $28,000 mark, the market may expect further weakness. On the upside, the $45,000 mark is the price to watch because it would suggest the current downtrend has turned around.
Notably, each GBTC share has 0.00092784 BTC worth $36.42, meaning the fund is trading at a deep discount compared to its net asset value. The discount, according to Barron’s, may either narrow if GBTC manages to convert into an exchange-traded fund, or if buyers end up pushing its price up closer to its net asset value.
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