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Asset manager Vanguard Group has upped its exposure to Bitcoin mining companies, Monday filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show, increasing its stake in the industry to over half a billion dollars.
The financial industry heavyweight—which manages $7.2 trillion in assets—bought more stock from Riot Platforms and Marathon Digital.
According to documents, Vanguard Group upped its Marathon Digital holdings by 60% from 10.9 million shares to 17.5 million.
Marathon Digital—which trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker MARA—is currently trading for $16.03 per share, meaning Vanguard’s investment stands at $280.5 million in shares.
The investment company also increased its stake in Colorado-based Bitcoin miner Riot Blockchain by nearly 18% from 15.2 million shares to 17.9 million, or over $281 million in stock.
This brings Vanguard’s total investment in Bitcoin miners to $560 million.
Riot Blockchain trades on the Nasdaq as RIOT and is the biggest crypto miner in the States. Its stock is currently trading for $15.72 per share.
Just two years ago, Vanguard Group said on its website that the long-term investment case of cryptocurrencies is “weak.” Now, it is Marathon Digital’s largest shareholder.
Institutional interest in the cryptocurrency world—particularly Bitcoin, the largest digital asset by market cap—seems to be growing.
Last week, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said Bitcoin was an “international asset.” BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager with $9.5 trillion-worth of assets under management and last month applied to the SEC for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
BlackRock is also the second largest investor in Marathon Digital, with 8.6 million shares.
A number of other major fund managers have also applied for a Bitcoin ETF—sending the price of the cryptocurrency to a year-high.
Also, a new cryptocurrency exchange backed by top Wall Street names Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, and Fidelity Digital Assets, launched last month. EDX Markets lets its traders—institutional investors only—buy assets Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
Bitcoin mining is the big business of using powerful computers to verify transactions on the blockchain. Miners—which today are usually large operations using server farms and a lot of energy—receive newly minted Bitcoins for their work.