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20 Institutional Bitcoin Investors Revealed, But Soon The List May Vanish

Barry Silbert, founder and chief executive officer of Digital Currency Group Inc. (DCG), speaks ... [+] during the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, in May 2019. DCG subsidiary Grayscale is working to convert all ten of its crypto products to SEC reporting companies. © 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

Institutional adoption of bitcoin is here, you just have to know where to look. While cryptocurrency advocates have long worked to build an ecosystem deemed credible enough for more than just mom and pop investors, nearly 20 institutions already filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last quarter, showing they invested in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), a product of Barry Silbert’s New York-based Grayscale Investments, LLC.

While many of the names are well-known mutual funds like Ark Invest with $4.5 billion in assets under management and Horizon Kinetic, managing $5.3 billion, according to their investor disclosure forms, the latest filings are also rife with relative newbies to the space including Rothschild Investment Corporation, Addison Capital and Corriente Advisor. “It's very difficult to have a clean one-to-one signal on who's entering and exiting the space,” says Ark Invest crypto analyst Yassine Elmandjra. “But there are some very interesting proxies that can gauge institutional interest.”

The problem is, the vast majority of the institutional investors who filed the paperwork, called a 13F filing, will no longer need to do so if the SEC gets its way and raises the threshold to report from $100 million to $3.5 billion. Though bitcoin represents only a tiny fraction of the total assets that will no longer have to be disclosed if the change is implemented, the nascent industry stands to be disproportionately impacted.

Of the 27 GBTC disclosures Forbes found only nine were more than the new $3.5 billion projection. Only three companies managed ...

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