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BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF Surpasses MicroStrategy’s Holdings

In a landmark development within the cryptocurrency sector, BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), known as IBIT, has surpassed MicroStrategy in terms of Bitcoin holdings. BitMEX Research reveals that IBIT now holds a staggering 197,943 Bitcoin, valued at over $13.5 billion as of March 8. This achievement comes nearly 40 trading sessions after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved nine new funds on January 10, marking a significant milestone in the institutional adoption of Bitcoin.

The approval of these new Bitcoin ETFs, with IBIT leading the pack, has catalyzed a substantial inflow of institutional investments into the cryptocurrency space. Excluding Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), these ETFs collectively manage assets worth approximately $28 billion. This surge in institutional demand is a key driver behind the upward trajectory of Bitcoin’s price, which breached the $70,000 threshold on March 8 for the first time in history. Reports from X (formerly Twitter) suggest a notable strain on over-the-counter (OTC) trading platforms, with many turning to public exchanges to meet the burgeoning demand from large-volume traders, typically served by OTC desks.

MicroStrategy, a technology firm with no direct involvement in ETF issuance, has been a prominent corporate backer of Bitcoin, amassing 193,000 BTC as part of its treasury strategy. The company employs a leveraged operating strategy, utilizing debt to finance its operations and investments, including its aggressive accumulation of Bitcoin. MicroStrategy’s unwavering commitment to its Bitcoin strategy has led to its stock, MSTR, being dubbed as a “leveraged Bitcoin ETF” by some, reflecting the direct correlation between the company’s market value and Bitcoin’s price movements. Over the past 12 months, MSTR has seen a remarkable 642% increase, significantly outpacing Bitcoin’s 244% gains within the same timeframe.

Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, remains bullish on Bitcoin, viewing it as a superior asset compared to traditional investment options such as gold, the S&P 500, and real estate. Despite these asset classes having larger market capitalizations, Saylor’s confidence in Bitcoin’s technical superiority underpins his strategy of continuous investment. “I’m going to be buying the top forever. Bitcoin is the exit strategy,” Saylor remarked, emphasizing his long-term commitment to the cryptocurrency and his belief in its unmatched potential as an investment asset.

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