BNP Paribas, the second-largest bank in Europe whose asset management arm has over $600 billion in assets under management, has gained exposure to the flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin ($BTC) via a spot exchange-traded fund.

According to a recent 13F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the bank has purchased shares of BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT), as first reported by Bitcoin Magazine.

Large institutional investors managing over $100 million in assets have to, every quarter, disclose their holdings via 13F filings and after the successful launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the U.S., these filings have been closely watched by industry sleuths.

While previous filings for the first quarter of 2024 showcased purchases by asset managers, family offices, and several smaller banks, BNP Paribas’ involvement marks a turning point even though the bank allocated a miniscule part of its holdings to the flagship cryptocurrency, acquiring around $40,000 worth of it.

Analysts anticipate that further 13F filings leading up to the May 15th deadline could reveal a broader presence of institutional investors within the spot Bitcoin ETF landscape.

As CryptoGlobe reported, recent market volatility has put a spotlight on spot Bitcoin ETFs, with several experiencing record-high discounts to their net asset value (NAV) after Bitcoin itself saw a significant price drop. This raises questions about the unique challenges of these investment vehicles in a volatile market.

ETF analyst James Seyffart notes that while these discounts aren’t unprecedented, they do stand out given the historical range of premiums and discounts for these funds. Teddy Fusaro, president of Bitwise, attributes the dislocations to factors like end-of-month rebalancing and Bitcoin’s price-calculation mechanisms used by ETFs, which can lead to discrepancies between market prices and these funds’ NAV.

Featured image via Unsplash.