Israeli asset manager doubles its $100M Bitcoin investment in just two months

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Israeli Altshuler Shaham Investment House doubled its money after pouring $ 100 million into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust late last year. It is the only known Israeli institution that has invested this magnitude in Bitcoin to date.

The news follows the increasing institutional interest in Bitcoin internationally. On March 7, it was reported that Chinese tech company Meitu became the first Hong Kong-listed company to invest $ 40 million in cryptocurrencies split between Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Israel’s Globes publication reported that Altshuler Shaham acquired GBTC shares in late 2020 when Bitcoin was trading around $ 21,000. Co-CEO, founder and co-owner Gilad Altshuler told the publication:

“The $ 100 million investment has turned into $ 200 million, and of that $ 200 million we’ve already sold about a third.”

He added, “This is a new investment for us. It took us a few months to receive all of the relevant approvals and opinions that approved our investment in this area.”

According to the Globes report, the investment house currently holds cryptocurrency worth around $ 150 million – and could add more, according to Altshuler:

“It depends on the price. We were a little intimidated by the speed at which Bitcoin was reaching these prices and global market cap topping $ 1 trillion, and that worried us a little.”

Altshuler Shaham is one of the largest investment houses in Israel, managing around $ 51.5 billion in long-term savings for pension funds at the end of January. It is not the first time that Altshuler Shaham has dealt with cryptocurrency. The company reportedly took positions in local coin initial offerings as early as 2017.

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

The $ 100 million was invested in BTC through the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which currently has around $ 31.4 billion in assets under management. Recently, stocks have traded at a discount of 15% on the underlying value of the Bitcoin it is holding.

As of March 7, private placement offers for GBTC shares have been discontinued. However, this happens regularly.