World’s largest asset manager BlackRock has purchased considerable stakes in two leading publicly traded Bitcoin mining firms Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) and Riot Blockchain (RIOT).
In a mandatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 30, Forbes unveiled that BlackRock owned 6.71% in Marathon Digital Holdings and 6.61% in Riot Blockchain.
The total investments are valued at around $384 million. Of this, $207 million is allocated to Marathon Digital Holdings and $176 million in Riot Blockchain. The asset manager reportedly made the investments through some of its mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
Interestingly, BlackRock’s iShares Russell 2000 ETF holds more shares in Marathon and Riot than any other ETF. Meanwhile, iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF ranks third among global ETFs.
This is not the first investment for BlackRock in the digital asset sector. In January, the firm filed an application with the SEC for two of its funds to purchase cash-settled Bitcoin futures contracts. In April, BlackRock Global Allocation Fund bought 37 BTC futures contracts from Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
The company’s CEO, Larry Fink once said Bitcoin had the potential to become a “great asset class,” but it still needed to prove itself. He even added that the leading cryptocurrency makes the U.S. dollar less relevant and “can evolve into a global market.”
In recent years, large corporations are increasingly investing in Bitcoin mining companies for higher returns. Fidelity Group and Vanguard Group are among the large firms to obtain significant exposure in BTC mining companies.
According to etf.com, Vanguard’s Total Stock Market ETF and Information Technology ETF rank as the fourth and fifth largest funds by (RIOT), while the firm’s Small-Cap ETF and Small-Cap Growth ETF are the fourth and fifth largest ETF holders of (MARA).
With Bitcoin roughly up 288% over the year, Marathon’s stock has surged 754% while Riot has gained over a whopping 848%.