Wisconsin Investment Board's $163M Bitcoin ETF Purchase

Wisconsin Investment Board's $163M Bitcoin ETF Purchase

Quentin Dubois
2 min read

Wisconsin Investment Board Purchases $163 Million in Bitcoin ETFs, Leading Traditional Institutions into Cryptocurrency Investments

The Wisconsin Investment Board has acquired shares totaling approximately $163 million in top-ranking Bitcoin ETFs, such as BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, marking the state’s pioneering disclosure of a Bitcoin purchase. Additionally, the board has invested in other cryptocurrency-related companies, including Coinbase and MicroStrategy. Notably, Eric Balchunas, a senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, anticipates a surge in institutional investments in Bitcoin in the near future. This development mirrors reports from major banking entities such as UBS, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase, all expressing interest in gaining exposure to the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Key Takeaways

  • Wisconsin Investment Board procures $163 million in Bitcoin ETFs.
  • The acquisition encompasses 94,562 shares of BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust ETF.
  • The Wisconsin Board also allocates finances to Coinbase, MicroStrategy, and other cryptocurrency-related stocks.
  • Analyst foresees a surge in Bitcoin ETF investments by institutions.
  • Traditional entities like UBS and JPMorgan Chase are exploring Bitcoin exposure through ETFs.


The acquisition of $163 million in Bitcoin ETFs by the Wisconsin Investment Board, encompassing BlackRock’s iShares and Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, signifies a momentous entry of traditional institutions into the realm of cryptocurrency. This maneuver has the potential to prompt other states and entities, including pension funds, to contemplate cryptocurrency investments. The expressions of interest from UBS, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase stand as evidence.

The ramifications are twofold: short-term price fluctuations and long-term mainstream adoption. The rise in Bitcoin’s value due to augmented demand would favor existing holders in the short term. In the long run, cryptocurrency might evolve into a standard asset class, spawning regulatory considerations and potentially impacting central bank digital currencies.

Nevertheless, the volatility of cryptocurrencies and regulatory uncertainties pose risks. Instruments linked to Bitcoin, such as ETFs, and companies involved in cryptocurrency dealings, like Coinbase, could encounter fluctuating valuations and scrutiny. Investors ought to brace themselves for prospective losses alongside gains.

Did You Know?

  • Bitcoin ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds): These are investment funds traded on a stock exchange, akin to individual stocks. Unlike individual stocks, ETFs are designed to mirror the value of an underlying asset or group of assets, in this case, Bitcoin. The article mentions two renowned Bitcoin ETFs: BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust. Investing in Bitcoin ETFs furnishes institutions with a more traditional and regulated avenue to gain exposure to Bitcoin without directly owning or managing the cryptocurrency.
  • Cryptocurrency-related companies: These are enterprises existing within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, providing diverse services, including cryptocurrency exchanges, mining operations, and blockchain-based solutions. The article highlights Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, as one of the companies in which the Wisconsin Investment Board has invested. Through these investments, Wisconsin indirectly gains exposure to the broader cryptocurrency market beyond Bitcoin.
  • Institutional investment in Bitcoin: Institutional investors comprise large organizations, such as pension funds, endowments, and insurance companies, managing substantial amounts of capital on behalf of their clients or stakeholders. Historically, institutional investors have approached cryptocurrency investments cautiously due to regulatory uncertainties, market volatility, and security concerns. However, recent developments, as mentioned in the article, signal a change in sentiment, with more traditional institutions seeking Bitcoin exposure through ETFs and other cryptocurrency-related investments. This trend could further validate the cryptocurrency market and attract additional institutional capital in the future.

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