IBIT Nears 200K Bitcoins With Latest Purchase

BlackRock's spot bitcoin ETF temporarily surpassed the bitcoin holdings of MicroStrategy.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

Just two months after its launching, BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin ETF (IBIT) edged past MicroStrategy in bitcoin holdings on Friday, although a weekend purchase by the software provider that pivoted from its core business to accumulate large stores of the cryptocurrency sent the company's total higher. 

In an updated disclosure Friday, BlackRock revealed that the ETF now holds 195,985 bitcoins. With its latest bitcoin buy of 12,000 bitcoins, MicroStrategy now has 205,000 bitcoins. MicroStrategy co-founder and current Chair Michael Saylor has been among most prominent bitcoin bulls in recent years. 

The increased IBIT and MicroStrategy totals underscore the fierce investor demand for bitcoin, whose price has skyrocketed this year and related assets. Bitcoin was recently trading at about 71,850, up almost 5% and near its record high set earlier in the day. The price surge began last year but has accelerated in 2024 following the SEC's approval of IBIT and nine other spot bitcoin products. IBIT alone has generated more than $10 billion in inflows. 

As IBIT’s assets under management have ballooned due to the inflows and bitcoin's rising price, the fund has been purchasing billions worth of the cryptocurrency to keep the ETF liquid. 

Yet IBIT's holdings are small compared to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which has 400,165 bitcoins, according to its website, although GBTC has suffered more than $10 billion in outflows. 

To be sure, that fund is a conversion from a trust and charges by far the highest fee — 1.5% — so differs from the other nine spot bitcoin products that started trading on Jan. 11. But the 10 new products combined now have more than $55 billion in AUM, and IBIT and the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) rank third and fourth in inflows among all ETFs, according to Bloomberg Research.

"Something else I wouldn't predicted is $IBIT and $FBTC #3 and #4 in YTD flows among all ETFs in mid-March.. up there with perennial studs $VOO $IVV and $VTI," Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas wrote in a Monday post on the social media platform Twitter/X.

MicroStrategy's Purchase

MicroStrategy used proceeds from its “convertible notes and excess cash” to purchase its latest bitcoin, according to a March 11 Saylor tweet

A number of publicly traded companies hold bitcoin, including not only MicroStrategy butTesla Inc. and Galaxy Digital Holdings, due to their CEOs being bitcoin bulls or the firm offering a crypto product.

Eager cryptocurrency investors are hoping that the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization will continue its recent pattern of setting record highs. A number of analysts who track the crypto space are predicting bitcoin will surpass $100,000.

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.