2020 can be remembered as the year of institutional adoption of Bitcoin as some major industry leaders have bought their way into the cryptocurrency market. These institutions and big players have been the primary factor driving the current Bull Run. The trend can be further reaffirmed with the recent acquisition of American multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley.
Recent reports have revealed that the investment management arm of the banking giant has upped its stake in Bitcoin loving business intelligence firm Micro Strategy Inc. to more than 10% in late 2020.
Per a filing made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Morgan Stanley owns 792,627 shares of MicroStrategy, pushing its stake in the company to 10.9%. The move is yet another hint at the growing interest of banks when it comes to digital assets. The move is a boost of Morgan Stanley’s stake by almost 650,000 shares since the end of Q3.
As a result of this move, the shares of MicroStrategy have soared and are up more than 300% ever since the company first invested in Bitcoin back in August 2020. The firm was a relatively little-known business prior to its Bitcoin move and now its shares are up from $123.80 to $539.57.
MicroStrategy’s shares are largely tracking the price of bitcoin, which is up more than 40% this year following a 300% gain in 2020. Hence, it is evident that MicroStrategy views its recent investment as a means to benefit from bitcoin’s historic run without directly investing in the cryptocurrency.
MicroStrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor has been an outspoken Bitcoin advocate and has been investing more of the company’s funds into the flagship cryptocurrency. Just last month, the firm confirmed another $650 mln Bitcoin purchase that pushed its total investment beyond $1 billion. At the time of publication, the firm owns a total of 70,470 Bitcoin in its treasury reserve holdings.
Saylor has also been encouraging other players in the market to step into Bitcoin. Recently he called out, now the world’s richest man Elon Musk, to make a similar move with Tesla’s money last month. He tweeted:
“If you want to do your shareholders a $100 billion favor, convert the $TSLA balance sheet from USD to #BTC. Other firms on the S&P 500 would follow your lead & in time it would grow to become a $1 trillion favor.”
Not Just MicroStrategy
MicroStrategy isn’t the only institution benefitting from the cryptocurrency market. Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital asset management firm has had a massive year in terms of growth in the value of its various cryptocurrency trusts.
The firm has seen multiple record-breaking quarters in 2020 and its current total assets under management (AUM) have increased from $15.7 billion in December to $27.4 billion as of January 7.