Israeli asset manager doubles bitcoin investment

Israeli asset manager doubles bitcoin investment in just 2 months

The firm invested $100m in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust at the end of 2020, sold a third of its profit and is still up $50m.

Israel’s Altshuler Shaham Investment House has doubled itsê investment after putting US$100m into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust late last year. The company is the only Israeli institution to have invested of Profit Revolution this much money in Bitcoin so far.

Global institutional interest in Bitcoin remains high. On 7 March, it was reported that Chinese tech company Meitu was the first Hong Kong-listed company to invest $40 million in cryptocurrencies. The company has focused its investment on Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Israeli news platform Globes reported that Altshuler Shaham bought the GBTC shares in late 2020, when Bitcoin was around US$21,000. Founder and co-owner Gilad Altshuler told the publication:

„The US$100 million investment has turned into US$200 million. Of the US$200 million, we have already sold about a third.“

He added: „This is a new investment for us. It took us a few months to get all the approvals and green light for our investment in this area.“

The Globes report said the investment house currently held cryptocurrencies worth around US$150 million. At the same time, Altshuler noted that more could be added:

„It depends on the price. We were a little intimidated by the speed at which Bitcoin reached these prices. Its global market capitalisation has passed the $1 trillion mark. US dollars and that worried us a little bit.“

Altshuler Shaham is one of the largest investment houses in Israel, managing around $51.5 billion in long-term savings for pension and retirement funds (as of the end of January). This is not the first time Altshuler Shaham has been involved with cryptocurrencies.

The firm reportedly opened positions in local Initial Coin Offerings back in 2017

Subsidiary Altshuler Shaham Horizon is more actively involved in crypto investments and last week appointed Ilan Stark as its new CEO. He previously headed the trading and capital markets division of Israeli blockchain company Orbs.

The $100 million was invested in BTC through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. Currently, this trust manages around US$31.4 billion in assets. Recently, the shares have been trading at a 15 per cent discount to the underlying value of the bitcoin held.

On 7 March, private placement offerings for GBTC shares were halted. However, this happens all the time.