BlackRock Bitcoin ETF now holds more BTC than MicroStrategy

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BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has outpaced MicroStrategy’s holdings of the cryptocurrency.

According to data compiled by BitMEX Research, BlackRock’s IBIT holds 197,943 Bitcoin, worth over $13.5 billion as of March 8, nearly 40 trading sessions after the Securities and Exchange Commission approved nine new funds on Jan. 10.

Excluding Grayscale’s GBTC, the newly launched Bitcoin ETFs collectively hold assets valued at $28 billion as institutional demand continues to drive the cryptocurrency upward. On March 8, the Bitcoin price crossed the $70,000 mark for the first time.

Reports on X (formerly Twitter) indicate that over-the-counter (OTC) trading platforms are running out of Bitcoin and turning to public exchanges to fulfill orders. Large-volume traders, such as institutional investors, are typically served by OTC desks.

While not an ETF issuer, technology firm MicroStrategy has built a portfolio of 193,000 BTC as part of its corporate treasury strategy. The software company employs a leveraged operating strategy in which debt is used to finance operations and investments.

MicroStrategy is doubling down on its Bitcoin strategy. The company recently announced plans for a debt offering aimed at raising over $600 million to strengthen its Bitcoin reserves.

Its Bitcoin-centric strategy led MicroStrategy (MSTR) stock to be branded as a “leveraged Bitcoin ETF.” The strategy has proven to be effective so far. MSTR has soared 642% in the last 12 months, greatly outpacing Bitcoin’s 244% gains over the same period.

MicroStrategy (MSTR) 1-year performance as of March 8. Source: Google Finance.

MicroStrategy’s CEO, Michael Saylor, has no plans to sell its Bitcoin reserves. “I’m going to be buying the top forever. Bitcoin is the exit strategy,” Saylor said, speaking to Bloomberg on Feb. 20.

According to the executive, the cryptocurrency is “technically superior” to gold, the S&P 500 and real estate, even though all three asset classes have far greater market capitalizations than Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is technically superior to those asset classes. And that being the case, there’s just no reason to sell the winner to buy the losers.”

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