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Biggest Bitcoin Investment Trust Says Hedge-Fund Demand Booming

Olga Kharif

(Bloomberg) -- Traditional hedge funds, pensions and endowments are boosting cryptocurrency holdings, according to the biggest Bitcoin trust provider.

Grayscale Investments, which lets accredited investors own Bitcoin and other coins via its funds, said it took in $608 million last year, surpassing the total amount raised the previous six years. The majority of the inflows -- about 71% -- came from institutions like hedge funds, up from 66% in 2018, according to Grayscale.

Grayscale’s assets under management have increased to about $2 billion just as a slew of rivals -- most notably Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital and Nickel -- launched similar investment vehicles. The companies provide exposure to coins like Bitcoin without forcing investors to hold the cryptocurrencies directly. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is the largest such Bitcoin fund.

“It’s clear that we’re experiencing institutional adoption,” said Michael Sonnenshein, managing director at Grayscale. “The asset class is experiencing increased validation from legacy companies like Fidelity and CME, signaling to institutions and the investment community as a whole that crypto as an asset class is here to stay.”

Last year, Bitcoin’s price almost doubled, outpacing traditional investments such as U.S. stocks and gold.

Grayscale expanded its investor base by approximately 24% in 2019, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Dave Liedtka, Rita Nazareth

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