Operation Cryptosweep is now involves more than 200 active investigations of Initial Coin Offerings and crypto-currency-related investment products. Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Grayscale Investments has an increasingly voracious appetite for bitcoin.

The crypto fund manager has increased the assets under management in its Bitcoin Trust by more than $180 million – 17,100 bitcoins – over the past several days, Cointelegraph reports.

The company now has 449,900 total coins under management – worth roughly $4.9 billion with the crypto asset at $10,890. It has been closing above $10,000 every day for the last 63 days, according to data from information platform Bybt.

This effectively means Grayscale controls roughly 2.4% of total coin supply – currently at 18,502,381, according to CoinMarketCap – and shows no signs of stopping its buying spree.

The total supply of bitcoin is capped at 21 million, meaning there are roughly 2.5 million BTC left to be mined, or about 11.9% of the total Bitcoin to be generated. Even if the firm were to stop accumulating coins now, it would still have control of more than 2% of all bitcoin in circulation by the time the final block is mined. 

Grayscale is not the only firm that is hungry for the leading digital asset. Business intelligence company MicroStrategy has swapped more than $400 million of spare capital from fiat to bitcoin. The company has reportedly accumulated 38,250 BTC since its first crypto purchase in August; less than a tenth that of Grayscale.

Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscale, announced in a September 15 tweet – perhaps jokingly for members of Crypto Twitter – that the two companies were in a “buying race” for bitcoin:  “Apparently there is some kind of bitcoin buying race between MicroStrategy and @Grayscale. Game on.

However, token holders do not necessarily need to worry about Grayscale acquiring coins faster than they can be mined. The majority of the investment firm’s crypto purchases came from bitcoin already in circulation. The firm refers to these purchases as “in kind” exchanges.

Grayscale reported $5.8 billion in assets under management as of September 25, with crypto trusts including Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Horizen (ZEN), Litecoin (LTC), Stellar Lumens (XLM), XRP, and Zcash (ZEC).

Bitcoin markets have done well in recent days and dominance is nearing 60% again. The cryptocurrency’s percentage change versus USD during the last year is up 29% and during the last 90-days, BTC has gained over 16%, Bitcoin.com reports.

In early September, Grayscale published a report for investors that suggested that the current market is “reminiscent of early 2016, the period that preceded Bitcoin’s historic bull run,” notes Decrypt.