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Wells Fargo Banks Has Invested $143 Million In Bitcoin, Filing Reveals

Andrew Throuvalas
Last updated: | 1 min read
Wells Fargo Bitcoin

Wells Fargo, the third largest bank in the United States, has invested in one of the country’s new Bitcoin ETF products.

According to a 13F-HR form submitted on Friday, the bank held exposure worth $143 million across three different Bitcoin investment products as of March 31.

Wells Fargo Buys Bitcoin

The vast majority of those funds were held with the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) – a Bitcoin spot ETF whose shares are designed to track Bitcoin’s spot price during traditional stock market hours. The fund directly backs its shares with a fixed amount of BTC, which gradually declines over time due to management fees.

The other two Bitcoin-related investments include a $99,000 position in the Bitcoin ATM provider Bitcoin Depot and a $1.2 million position in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), a Bitcoin futures ETF.

The total position represents just a drop of Wells Fargo’s $603 billion in assets under management and has likely shrunk alongside Bitcoin’s price since the reporting period.

Nevertheless, the crypto community has hailed the bank’s allocation as a massive step toward institutional Bitcoin adoption.

Back in 2018, the same bank temporarily banned crypto credit card purchases, but its analysts came to recognize Bitcoin’s rapid adoption growth and price appreciation over the coming years.

Why Choose Grayscale?

Wells Fargo began offering Bitcoin ETFs as an investment option in February for clients who specifically requested the product. Since launching in January, U.S. Bitcoin spot ETFs have absorbed $11.8 billion of net inflows.

Other major financial institutions have also disclosed substantial allocations to Bitcoin ETFs in previous weeks. So far, the largest known owner of the products is Susquehanna International Group, an investment firm with $438 billion AUM holding $1.8 billion in Bitcoin ETFs.

Interestingly, both Wells Fargo and Susquehanna invested most heavily into GBTC, which is the most expensive of all its competitors. The fund charges 1.5% per year in management fees, compared to a 0.3% management cost from most other rivals like BlackRock and Fidelity.

Grayscale is currently the largest Bitcoin ETF thanks to its pre-ETF launch Bitcoin stack, but only by a thin margin. The fund has suffered nearly endless outflows since January 11.