In brief:

  • Grayscale Investments has bought more Bitcoin than was mined since the Bitcoin halving.
  • The investment firm's Bitcoin Trust acquired the equivalent of 153% of all Bitcoin mined in that time period.
  • The increased rate of acquisition by Grayscale on behalf of institutional investors flies in the face of Goldman Sachs' recent criticism of Bitcoin.

Since Bitcoin’s block reward halving, digital asset manager Grayscale Investments has purchased more Bitcoin, on behalf of its institutional clients, than has been mined. The world’s largest digital assets manager continues to accelerate its rate of Bitcoin acquisition, regardless of what Goldman Sachs has to say about the matter.

According to data supplied by independent researcher Kevin Rooke, Grayscale added 18,910 coins to its Bitcoin Trust in little over two weeks since the halving. Only 12,337 coins were mined in that time period, meaning Grayscale has acquired the equivalent of 153% of all Bitcoin produced since the block reward halving.

Grayscale has acquired the equivalent of 153% of all Bitcoin mined since the halving. Image: Kevin Rooke, Twitter.

Rooke commented on the statistic, noting Grayscale’s apparent disregard for Goldman Sachs’ professional opinion concerning Bitcoin. “Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust bought 18,910 Bitcoins since the halving. Only 12,337 Bitcoins have been mined since the halving. Wall Street wants Bitcoin, and they don't care what Goldman Sachs has to say,” wrote Rooke.

Slides of a Goldman Sachs conference call, seen by Decrypt, on May 27 revealed that the juggernaut investment bank isn’t so keen on Bitcoin. In fact, it doesn’t even recognize it as an asset class.

In the presentation, Goldman Sachs warned against hedge funds trading cryptocurrencies—citing a lack of serious investment rationale. “We also believe that while hedge funds may find trading cryptocurrencies appealing because of their high volatility, that allure does not constitute a viable investment rationale,” the slides stated.

A slide from Goldman Sachs' presentation. Image: Goldman Sachs

Grayscale hasn’t just been buying up Bitcoin in the last few weeks. Independent research posted to Reddit on May 18 showed that Grayscale had purchased the equivalent of 33% of all Bitcoin mined in the 100 days leading up to the block reward halving. At the time, that was a marked increase in its rate of acquisition.

In 2018, just 57% of Grayscale’s customers were institutional investors. But according to its Q1 2020 Digital Asset Investment Report, the vast majority (88%) of Grayscale’s customers are now institutional investors. “88% of inflows this quarter came from institutional investors, the overwhelming majority of which were hedge funds,” stated the report. What do these hedge funds know that Goldman Sachs doesn’t?