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Top 10 US Pension Fund Invests $162 Million In Bitcoin ETFs

Andrew Throuvalas
Last updated: | 1 min read
US bitcoin etf pension funds

One of the largest pension funds in the United States disclosed on Tuesday a $162 million allocation to the nation’s leading Bitcoin spot ETF products launched earlier this year.

Per a 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) held $99 million in the iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) as of March 31.

Major Pension Fund Buys Bitcoin


It also held $63 million in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which is BlackRock’s largest competitor in terms of size but also charges a much heftier 1.5% annual management fee.

The allocation marks a major step for Bitcoin’s adoption as a global store of value. The asset’s most fervent bulls have long wished to see it graduate from being a speculative vehicle for retail and hedge fund traders into a treasury reserve asset for corporations and governments.

“Normally you don’t get these big fish institutions in the 13Fs for a year or so (when the ETF gets more liquidity),” tweeted Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchuas regarding the SWIB disclosure. “Expect more, as institutions tend to move in herds.”

The reported total value of SWIB’s securities portfolio was $37.8 billion, making its Bitcoin position a mere 0.4% allocation. As of December 31, 2023, SWIB controlled $155 billion in total assets, comprising 85% of the entire Wisconsin retirement system.

Who Else Is Buying Bitcoin?


While SWIB is the first pension fund to disclose Bitcoin holdings publicly, political efforts are underway to see other states buy shares of the new Bitcoin ETFs as well.

Late last month, Ohio state Rep. Steve Demetriou introduced pro-crypto legislation that would, among other things, require the state’s retirement systems to evaluate Bitcoin ETFs.

Aside from pension funds, major banks, including Wells Fargo and JPMorgan, hold Bitcoin ETF allocations. Experts have noted that these firms likely own shares of the funds as part of their duties as authorized participants rather than for investment purposes, however.

“In a policy statement in January 2023, the Fed prohibited these banks from outright owning “crypto-assets” on their balance sheets,” added Swan Bitcoin analyst Sam Callahan on Twitter. “This whole idea of large banks owning Bitcoin ETFs because they are suddenly bullish on it is nonsense.