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Corporations Haven’t Even Begun Buying Bitcoin ETFs: Bitwise

Demand for Bitcoin ETFs is only beginning to ramp up, with some of the market’s largest players yet to begin buying, according to crypto asset manager Bitwise.

Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan made a post on X on Tuesday outlining investor groups that generally have already bought, versus those who “will be buying bitcoin ETFs soon.”

Hidden Demand For Bitcoin ETFs

Among the future investors were some of the world’s largest potential sources of demand, including “wirehouse advisors,” “corporations,” and “institutional consultants.”

Investors who are buying bitcoin ETFs today:

* Retail investors
* Registered Investment Advisors
* Family offices
* Hedge funds
* Venture capital funds
* Asset managers

Investors who I think will be buying bitcoin ETFs soon:

* Wirehouse advisors
* Corporations
* Institutional…

— Matt Hougan (@Matt_Hougan) March 5, 2024

A wirehouse is a full-service broker-dealer providing a range of financial services including investment banking, trading, research, and wealth management. Examples of large U.S. wirehouses include Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and UBS.

Though initially hesitant, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo began allowing their clients to invest in Bitcoin ETF offered by BlackRock, Fidelity, and others late last month. The wealth management group wanted to see whether the ETFs could trade efficiently before platforming them for clients, and based on their flows and volume, they’ve proven extremely successful.

In an interview with CNBC last week, Hougan explained that a relatively larger share of initial ETF demand has come from retail buyers. New to that mix are registered investment advisors (RIAs), family offices, hedge funds, venture capital funds, and asset managers.

Many major wirehouses, however, are yet to “plug in” to the ETFs, according to Hougan.

“I think there’s an even bigger wave coming in a few months as we start to see the major wirehouses turn on… but this has been Bitcoin’s IPO moment,” he said.

Corporate Bitcoin Buyers

Regarding corporations, MicroStrategy is still the world’s largest corporate owner of BTC, owning 193,000 coins as of March 2024. The company recently announced a $600 million convertible note offering meant to raise more money to purchase Bitcoin.

Other major buyers Bitwise envisions for the ETFs include endowments, pension funds, sovereigns, and supernationals. So far, El Salvador is the only country to publicly confirm that it has added BTC to its Treasury.

Last week, Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas also claimed that pressure is mounting on wirehouse platforms to onboard the ETF to their clients.

“They like to see track record and get paid off but with grassroots demand like this they gonna have to expedite,” he wrote to X.

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