BlackRock’s Client Holdings in Riot and Mara Ballooned to $650 Million in 2023

BlackRock answers to customer demands on not only bitcoin spot ETFs, but also bitcoin mining stocks

January 26: This article has been updated with new information on BlackRock’s holdings in Riot

14 investment and asset management subsidiaries of BlackRock have doubled down on their holdings in Riot and Marathon, the two largest public bitcoin mining companies by market capitalization.

According to a filing on Thursday, BlackRock Inc. reported a beneficial holding of 17.2 million shares of Marathon as of Dec. 31, 2023, up 100% from 8.6 million shares a year ago.

Based on Marathon’s closing price of $24 on Dec. 29, BlackRock’s holding on behalf of investors was worth $410 million although the stock price has nearly halved since the New Year amid the broader market slump.

Yet still, the asset management giant’s holding in Marathon was significantly up from just $30 million as of the end of 2022, when Marathon’s price plunged to $3.42.

Another filing on Friday shows that BlackRock also has a beneficial holding of 15.5 million shares of Riot as of Dec. 31, which was worth about $250 million. That has increased from 11.4 million shares as of Dec. 31, 2022.

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Although the number of shares has increased more than 100%, BlackRock’s ownership percentage in Marathon only grew to 8.1% in 2023, up from 7.4% in 2022, thanks to Marathon share dilution.

The world’s largest public bitcoin mining company raised $264 million in the first three quarters of 2023, inflating its outstanding shares from 117 million in November 2022 to 223 million a year later. Riot shareholders also experienced a notable dilution in 2023. The company’s outstanding shares increased from 167 million to 206 million.

According to Yahoo Finance data, BlackRock was the second largest institutional holder of Marathon’s stocks as of Sept. 29 with 12.5 million shares after Vanguard’s 18.5 million shares.

However, unlike Vanguard, whose ownership of Marathon was mostly a result of the allocation in its mutual funds, BlackRock’s mutual funds only held 5.5 million shares of Marathon as of Sept. 29. Below is a list of the BlackRock subsidiaries that acquired securities of Riot and Marathon in 2023.

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