State of Wisconsin Buys Nearly $100M Worth of BlackRock Spot Bitcoin ETF

The state’s investment board bought 94,562 shares of BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust in the first quarter of the year.

AccessTimeIconMay 14, 2024 at 2:47 p.m. UTC
Updated May 14, 2024 at 3:10 p.m. UTC
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The U.S. state of Wisconsin purchased 94,562 shares of BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) in the first quarter of the year, a filing shows. The shares are worth nearly $100 million.

Bitcoin rose 1% on the news, currently trading at $61,957, down 1.7% over the past 24 hours as new inflation data came in hotter than expected during U.S. morning hours.

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  • Wisconsin, which filed its quarterly 13F report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday, is the first state to disclose the purchase of bitcoin. The investment board also purchased shares of Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) worth roughly $64 million.

    "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," Bloomberg Intelligence senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas wrote in a post on X. "Good sign, expect more, as institutions tend to move in herds."

    The investment board, also known as SWIB, was founded in 1951 and currently manages more than $156 billion in assets, according to its website. It manages the holdings of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), the State Investment Fund (SIF), and other state trust funds.

    The disclosure comes as March 15 is the deadline to file quarterly holdings by institutional investment managers with at least $100 million in assets under management. The market is watching these disclosures to see if any large TradFi funds invested in the bitcoin ETFs since their launch earlier this year.

    UPDATE (May 14, 14:55 UTC): Adds comments and more information about the state's investment board.

    Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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    Helene Braun

    Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.

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