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Thousands Are About to Indirectly Invest in Bitcoin — and Not Know

MicroStrategy's ascendancy to the MSCI rankings marks another subtle milestone in the crypto world's quest for mass adoption.

Microstrategy Michael Saylor

A substantial amount of investors are about to get indirect exposure to Bitcoin — and many won't even realize.

MSCI has announced that MicroStrategy stock is being added to its prestigious ACWI Index.

This is significant because this index is closely tracked by a number of major exchange-traded funds.

The biggest, an iShares ETF operated by BlackRock, currently has net assets of $18.5 billion.

MicroStrategy's stock has long been regarded as a pretty dependable way of capitalizing on BTC's price movements without owning it directly.

And forward-thinking investors who recognized this would have done pretty well out of MSTR. The stock's risen by 106% since the start of this year, and by a whopping 400% over the past 12 months.

Even on a 24-hour timeframe, there have been substantial gains on the back of the MSCI listing, with MicroStrategy's share price appreciating 8.6% to leave it with a market capitalization of $25 billion.

Fresh demand could be in the pipeline by May 31, which is when MSCI finalizes these changes. That's because a slew of ETF and index fund providers will be rapidly recalibrating their own offerings, and will need to make necessary investments on behalf of their customers.

There's little doubt that MicroStrategy's chairman Michael Saylor — who stepped back as CEO to focus on advocating for Bitcoin — will be absolutely delighted by the milestone. He nodded to this on X (formerly known as Twitter) on May 14:

Saylor raised eyebrows, and made an audacious bet in August 2020, when MicroStrategy announced plans to start holding Bitcoin as an asset on its balance sheet. It was swimming in billions of dollars in paper profits by late 2021, but faced derision come 2022 when the markets crashed — leaving it billions of dollars in the red.

Undeterred, the company has continued to amass BTC at an extraordinary pace. It recently passed an all-important milestone of owning 1% of all the Bitcoin that will ever exist — 214,400 BTC at the latest count — and has shown little hesitation in taking on debt to add to its stockpiles even further. MicroStrategy's paid about $7.5 billion for its crypto haul and it's now valued almost $14 billion.

Combined with Bitcoin ETFs, and a growing number of pension funds who allow investors to allocate BTC to their retirement portfolios, MicroStrategy's ascendancy to the MSCI rankings marks another subtle milestone in the crypto world's quest for mass adoption.