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211-year-old investment firm buys $4.75 million of Ethereum (ETH)

The centuries-old Rothschild Investment Corp. got exposed to the asset via Grayscale.

211-year-old investment firm buys $4.75 million of Ethereum (ETH)

Chicago-based financier Rothschild Investment Corporation purchased over 265,302 shares of the Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE), marking its first-ever investment into ETH, the asset powering the world’s most-used blockchain.

Dipping into Ethereum

Rothschild’s shares in the ETH trust were worth over $4.75 million on March 31 (as per the filing).

The firm is a part of the legendary Rothschild family, a secretive group with interests in global finance, real estate, mining, jewelry, winemaking, and others. The family possessed the largest private fortune in the world in the 19th century, and even in the modern world.

As such, the ETHE is one of the many crypto-backed ‘Trust’ products offered by Grayscale. These are fully regulated, institutional-focused financial instruments that hold a small amount of spot crypto as part of each share offered to investors.

The product is currently one of the only ways—unlike unregulated crypto exchanges that could go bust anytime—for institutional investors and family offices in the US to gain exposure to the burgeoning crypto market. Such an arrangement attracts the likes of Rothschild.

In addition to the ETHE investment, Rothschild upped its position in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust by nearly 8,000 shares to 38,346 shares—an increase over the 30,454 shares it held at the end of 2020. These are now worth $1.92 million.

The firm became the first name-brand institutional fund to seek ETH exposure through Grayscale’s trust product.

Rising ETH interest

Most institutional crypto activity is majorly limited to Bitcoin, but Ethereum’s strong fundamentals, upcoming technological updates, and an overall wider use-case is starting to make it a better bet for some investors.

As per a report by analytics firm CoinShares last month, ETH-related investment products attracted a total of $4.2 billion inflows in Q1 2021, the highest-ever level on record.

“Fund flows data highlighted Ethereum as being increasingly popular amongst investors with inflows of $113 million last week, comprising almost 50% of total flows,” it said in the report.

Some are even buying spot ETH instead of spot crypto-backed financial instruments. Chinese firm Meitu, a Hong Kong-listed photo editing app, become the first company earlier this year to do so, buying $22 million worth of the asset in a single day.

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