Some of the biggest names in traditional finance made waves in the cryptocurrency sector when they announced that they were applying for Bitcoin ETFs. Companies like BlackRock, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab are all linked to prospective Bitcoin ETFs. These would be the first spot Bitcoin ETFs, meaning that they directly track the current price of BTC, rather than prices of futures contracts. The latter are the only types of ETFs which the SEC has approved for digital assets over the past decade, and thus far they still haven’t approved any of these new filings.
But, with these traditional finance giants applying for ETFs, one has to wonder where they stand on their crypto holdings.
Crypto Products but No Holdings?
Of BlackRock, Fidelity, and CitiGroup, all of which are looking to offer a spot Bitcoin ETF, the only one without Bitcoin on their balance sheet is CitiGroup. Perhaps this should be expected considering that to offer a spot Bitcoin ETF these companies need Bitcoin in a fund.
Though CitiGroup doesn’t currently have any Bitcoin on their balance sheet, they are bullish on digital assets, specifically the tokenization of assets such as real estate. They expect the tokenized asset market to reach as high as $5 trillion by 2030.
BlackRock first announced Bitcoin on their balance sheet in fall of 2022, though with just a little over 6 BTC on there. More recently, in their filings with the SEC, the company announced that they had purchased another 1,000 BTC, but there is possibly more than that in the company’s holdings. The exact amount of BTC that BlackRock currently holds won’t be known until their Q4 balance sheet. BlackRock has chosen Coinbase as their Bitcoin custodian in their ETF filings.
Fidelity holds Bitcoin because of their Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF, which invests directly in Bitcoin, with the security of Fidelity’s in-house storage services. As of August 4, 2023, the fund holds 1870.3608 BTC. Of course, the more successful the ETF, the more BTC it will hold. This ETF is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while Fidelity is applying for a separate Bitcoin spot ETF for the US market.
Companies with Most Digital Asset Holdings
Traditional financial institutions aren’t the only ones that hold Bitcoin and other crypto assets either, with companies like Tesla and MicroStrategy being two of the biggest names to publicly announce their ownership of Bitcoin. Below we’ve outlined the biggest public and private companies with Bitcoin on their balance sheet, many of them being companies that offer ETFs.
The somewhat controversial issuer of the USD Tether (USDT) stablecoin is also a large holder of Bitcoin, with their announcement in May that it would start allocating up to 15% of quarterly profits to Bitcoin being proven true as they acquired 1,529 Bitcoin in the second quarter of 2023. This brings their company total to over 54,000 BTC.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is the biggest company holder of Bitcoin in the world, and they’re actually one of the largest holders of crypto overall. Grayscale currently holds over 600k BTC along with over 3 million ETH, making them one of the world’s largest crypto holders.
MicroStrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor is a well-known Bitcoin maximalist, with the company having the most Bitcoin of any public one as a balance sheet holding. MicroStrategy currently holds about 154,000 BTC, though at an overall loss compared to buying price. They recently announced that in July they added another 467 BTC to its balance sheet, continuing their massive accumulation.
Marathon Digital Holdings
Marathon Digital Holdings is a Bitocin mining company that holds over 10,000 Bitcoin. We’re only mentioning them because they’re the second largest holding by a public company after MicroStrategy. Both Tesla and Coinbase aren’t far behind Marathon with about 9,000 BTC each.
The company that generated $4 billion in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for EOS (EOS) back in 2017 is also one of the world’s largest holders of Bitcoin. According to their Q4 balance sheet of 2022, they hold over 164,000 BTC, making them an even larger holder than MicroStrategy.