According to Hans Hauge, Head of Quantitative Strategy at Ikigai Asset Management, publicly traded companies now hold bitcoin worth as much as Bitcoin's entire market capitalization in April 2016.
In a tweet, Hauge said that "in April of 2016 #Bitcoin's market cap was $6.8 Billion. Four-and-a-half years later, public companies hold $6.8 Billion BTC on their balance sheets and the market cap has risen to $211 Billion."
The comparison exemplified how institutions are adopting Bitcoin en-masse, and accentuates how much the pioneering cryptocurrency has grown. Hauge cited data from BitcoinTreasuries, a website set up by Coinkite founder Rodolfo "NVK" Novak. The website tracks the amount of bitcoin held by publicly-traded companies and funds, including MicroStrategy, Galaxy Digital, and Square, amongst other investment vehicles.
The biggest investor on the list by far is the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. It holds nearly 450,000 bitcoin, over two percent of all coins in circulation. Second on the list is the CoinShares Bitcoin Fund, which holds 69,730 coins, followed by MicroStrategy, the American business services company that made waves in the last quarter as it converted a majority of the company treasury into bitcoin.
It is worth noting that NVK's list does not include companies and investors that claim to own bitcoin but cannot or have not released publicly-verifiable reports.
For one, Stone Ridge Asset Management revealed it has recently acquired 10,000 bitcoin, representing approximately one percent of its assets under management. However, as the company isn't publicly traded, there are no documents to verify the exact figure.
As they say, don't trust, verify.
Cryptocurrency analyst Andrew Kang argues that the institutional case to own bitcoin has never been stronger.
Kang points to a confluence of trends to back his optimistic opinion. These include low volatility in bitcoin's price, the introduction of established custody solutions in Fidelity Digital Assets and Bakkt, as well as validation of Bitcoin in the public eye through traditional finance investors such as billionaire Paul Tudor Jones and Stone Ridge Asset Management.
Kang added that there are macro trends that further support growing numbers in Bitcoin investments.
Like others in the industry, he said that with other asset classes providing low yields as valuations reach frothy levels, Bitcoin is making increasing sense to own. Looming inflation, as indicated by the vast amount of fiscal and monetary stimulus, is also a factor set to drive Bitcoin higher.
In the aforementioned tweet, Hauge himself noted that the "writing is on the wall" for Bitcoin to appreciate. Referencing how the U.S. public debt is swelling as Bitcoin increases, he said:
In that same amount of time, total public debt has risen from $19 trillion to $26 trillion USD and counting.
Since April 2016, Bitcoin's hash rate has further risen by 10,000%, a clear sign that miners see long-term upside in this market.