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The 10 Public Companies With the Biggest Bitcoin Portfolios

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Decrypt

Thu, Dec 30, 2021

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The floodgates first opened when cloud software company MicroStrategy bought $425 million worth of Bitcoin in August and September 2020.

For investors unwilling to buy Bitcoin themselves, buying shares in public companies that hold Bitcoin can be a way of gaining exposure to the asset without the hassle of arranging self-custody.

2. Tesla Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has joined the ranks of companies holding Bitcoin, with an SEC filing revealing that the company invested "an aggregate $1.50 billion" in the cryptocurrency; the company's 42,902 BTC are currently worth $2.04 billion.

Tesla sold 10% of its Bitcoin holdings in Q1 2021; according to CEO Elon Musk, this was "to prove liquidity of Bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on balance sheet." No, you do not.

The filing states that, "we may invest a portion of such cash in certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future." The company's Bitcoin play followed months of speculation, as CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to discuss the cryptocurrency.

In late 2020, MicroStrategy's Saylor offered to share his "playbook" for Bitcoin investing with Musk, after arguing that a move into Bitcoin would be doing Tesla shareholders a "$100 billion favor." Yes. I have purchased over $1.3 billion in #BTC in past months & would be happy to share my playbook with you offline - from one rocket scientist to another.

After announcing that Tesla would accept payments in Bitcoin for its products and services in March 2021, just two months later the CEO abruptly announced that the company would no longer accept the cryptocurrency for payments.

Citing the "rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions", Musk revealed that the company wouldn't be selling any of its Bitcoin holdings, and would consider using it for transactions again once mining "transitions to more sustainable energy." He later clarified that the company would resume using Bitcoin for transactions once miners are using 50% clean energy.

Galaxy Digital Holdings The largest institutional holder of Bitcoin to be directly involved with the crypto industry, crypto-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital Holdings holds 16,400 BTC, according to bitcointreasuries.org—worth just over $779 million at current prices.

Block, Inc. Alongside Tesla, Block (formerly known as Square), lit the fuse for institutional investment in Bitcoin with its October 2020 investment of $50 million in the cryptocurrency.

Since then, the payments company has continued to invest in Bitcoin, revealing that it had scooped up another $170 million worth in its Q4 2020 earnings statement.

At the time, the company described the investment as "part of Square’s ongoing commitment to bitcoin," noting that "the company plans to assess its aggregate investment in bitcoin relative to its other investments on an ongoing basis." With its holdings now amounting to 8,207 BTC, worth $381 million at current prices, Block hasn't changed its tune on Bitcoin.

In March 2021, the company's CFO Amrita Ahuja argued that, "There's absolutely a case for every balance sheet to have Bitcoin on it," in an interview with Fortune, while reaffirming the company's commitment to holding the cryptoasset "for the long term." In May 2021, the company reaffirmed its commitment to its Bitcoin buying strategy, following an interview in which Ahuja had said the company had no plans to make further Bitcoin purchases.

Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. Bitcoin mining company Marathon Digital, unsurprisingly, is also a large holder of Bitcoin, with 7,649 BTC in its corporate treasury (worth around $363 million at current prices).

The company, which aims to build "the largest Bitcoin mining operation in North America at one of the lowest energy costs," originated as a patent holding firm (and was often referred to as a patent troll) before its pivot into crypto mining.

In June 2021, the company listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the HUT ticker, with the company's SEC filing noting that it's "committed to growing shareholder value by increasing the number and value of our bitcoin holdings".

In June 2021, Hut 8 shared its ambitious goal of mining 5,000 BTC by the end of the year; with the company snapping up new mining machines and China's crackdown reducing Bitcoin's mining difficulty, unsurprisingly the company's optimistic that the "favorable geopolitical environment" will benefit its mining operations in 2021.

Ahead of its listing, in February 2021, Coinbase revealed that it held $230 million in Bitcoin on its balance sheet; by December 2021, its Bitcoin holdings had slipped to $213 million (4,482 BTC).

In April 2021, it spent $650 million on a one-gigawatt Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas; describing the purchase as a "transformative event" that would make the company the "largest publicly-traded Bitcoin mining and hosting company in North America, as measured by total developed capacity." Nevertheless, Riot's share price has declined since hitting its all-time high in of February 2021; at the time of the Rockdale purchase, it was trading at $48 a share; by the end of the year it had slipped to around $23 a share, a drop of 52%.

Bitcoin Group SE Germany-based venture capital firm Bitcoin Group SE brings up the rear of the list, with relatively modest holdings of 3,947 BTC, worth $187 million at today's prices.

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