Texas-based investment manager U.S. Global Investors, which reported $4.6 billion in assets under management as of Q1 2021, has bought exposure to Bitcoin.
According to a Monday filing from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Global Investors added more than $566,389 worth of shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, or GBTC, to three of its eight mutual funds as of June 30. The filings show the company invested $302,899 GBTC in its Gold and Precious Metals Fund, $222,532 in its World Precious Minerals Fund, and $40,958 in its Global Resources Fund.
The Bitcoin (BTC) exposure represents up to 0.19% of the net assets in the funds, given the Gold and Precious Metals Fund alone has roughly $158 million in assets under management. However, it is a seemingly surprising investment from a firm that has significant exposure to gold, minerals, precious metals, petroleum and other natural resources. U.S. Global Investors also classified GBTC as common equity.
"This is not a surprise nor does it indicate a shift in the way other gold equity managers view crypto or Bitcoin," said gold bug Peter Schiff. Schiff further noted that the CEO of U.S. Global Investors, Frank Holmes, is also the executive chair of crypto mining firm Hive Blockchain.
A gold bug like Schiff, Holmes had previously predicted that the prices of Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) could reach $80,000 and $3,000, respectively, in 2021. Though Bitcoin’s all-time high price stalled at $64,899 in April, the price of ETH went well above the CEO’s prediction, reaching an all-time high of $4,384 in May.
For whatever reason — hedging bets on inflation, responding to investor interest — other major investment firms have purchased GBTC. Morgan Stanley’s Insight Fund owns roughly 928,000 shares of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, and SEC filings show Edge Wealth Management, JPMorgan Chase, Ark Invest, and Rothschild Investment Corporation also have exposure to BTC through Grayscale.