Wisconsin's Investment Board's latest disclosure reveals the state pension fund's manager bought millions worth of spot Bitcoin ETFs. IBTimes US


  • Wisconsin purchased over 94,500 IBIT shares worth nearly $100 million
  • Crypto enthusiasts on X lauded the development and its "meaningful" impact on the crypto space
  • Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas expects more institutions to follow suit

The State of Wisconsin's Investment Board (SWIB) purchased thousands of shares of BlackRock's spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) during the first quarter of the year, the state revealed in a Tuesday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The filing shows that the institution, which manages Wisconsin's Retirement System (WRS) assets, bought more than 94,562 IBIT shares worth nearly $100 million based on current prices, signaling growing interest among government institutions on spot Bitcoin ETFs.

The development has gained the attention of ETF observers and cryptocurrency enthusiasts on X (formerly Twitter), led by Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas, who called the move a "good sign." He also predicted that "more" institutions will follow suit since they "tend to move in herds."

One crypto enthusiast said "all" institutions will eventually jump into the BTC ETF pool, and another said $100 million worth of Bitcoin ETFs is "no joke."

One crypto user said the hefty investment in IBIT is indeed an exciting signal for the crypto space, but it is crucial for the state to have a balanced portfolio. "Let's hope this move reflects a thoughtful approach to financial stewardship and not just a wave of excitement" for the emerging financial offering, he said.

Many other users lauded the state for its "strategic" move, with one noting that SWIB's disclosure is "really meaningful" for the crypto industry, given how many news sites had been reporting about banking institutions getting into the Bitcoin ETF craze.

News about SWIB's massive investment into BlackRock's IBIT comes as more financial entities reveal their spot BTC ETF holdings, including some of the leading investment and trading firms such as Susquehanna, which disclosed last week that it has purchased more than $1 billion worth of Bitcoin ETFs during the first quarter of 2024. Susquehanna's purchases were distributed across various BTC ETF issuers, but its biggest buy was with Grayscale's previously unpopular GBTC.

Asset management giant Hightower Advisors also made a similar move, although its purchases were only within the millions. The Chicago-based asset manager, which has over $100 billion in assets under management (AUM), also invested mostly on Grayscale's GBTC, but it did snap up over $7 million worth of IBIT shares.

Interest in spot Bitcoin ETFs has been on the rise in recent weeks. Even some lawmakers are showing support for the products, with Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb., and Rep. Wiley Nickel, D-N.C., pushing the SEC to approve spot BTC ETF options, saying the Wall Street regulator shouldn't discriminate against the offerings.