NEW YORK: Grayscale, the world's largest digital currency manager, said on Thursday its assets under management surged more than 900per cent to US$20.2 billion at the end of last year, lifted by record inflows in the fourth quarter and the surge in the price of bitcoin.
The cryptocurrency manager started 2020 overseeing US$2 billion in assets.
In a report, Grayscale said it saw record investor demand in the fourth quarter, with approximately US$3.3 billion in inflows. Investments into the Grayscale products surpassed US$5.7 billion during 2020, more than four times the US$1.2 billion cumulative inflow from 2013-2019.
Also helping Grayscale's cause was a sky-rocketing bitcoin, which hit an all-time peak of US$42,000 last week. Bitcoin was last up 6.4per cent at US$39,748. In 2020, bitcoin soared more than 300per cent.
"The monetary and fiscal measures by governments globally served as the catalyst for the surge of interest in bitcoin," the crypto fund manager said in the report. "As monetary inflation became a pressing concern, institutional investors took action by allocating to bitcoin."
Grayscale's bitcoin-focused flagship product - Grayscale Bitcoin Trust - ended the 2020 with assets of US$17.5 billion, from US$1.8 billion at the beginning of the year.
Institutions have historically accounted for the majority of Grayscale's inflows and this was particularly true in the fourth quarter. Institutions accounted for 93per cent of capital inflows, or US$3.0 billion, Grayscale said.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gregorio)