Vanguard’s investments in Bitcoin mining firms Marathon, Riot approach $620M


Vanguard otherwise maintains a hesitant stance towards cryptocurrency.

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Vanguard Group has increased its investment in the Bitcoin mining firms Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain in two July 10 filings.

Vanguard now owns 17.5 million shares in Marathon. That number is shown in the line detailing the aggregate amount beneficially owned by each reporting person in a filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Another filing shows that Vanguard owns 17.9 million shares of Riot Blockchain, Marathon’s main competitor. Both filings were effective on June 30 but are dated July 10.

Reports from Fintel suggest that Vanguard now owns 10.31% of Marathon and 10.24% of Riot through its investments. Vanguard’s latest Marathon investment also represents a nearly 60% increase from February, when it held 10.97 million shares and 9.39% of the mining company. Its latest Riot investment represents an 18% increase since February, at which time Vanguard held 15.2 million shares and 9.09% of the company.

Marathon stock (MARA) is trading at 17.47, putting the value of Vanguard’s holdings at $305.73 million. RIOT stock is trading at 17.28, putting the value of Vanguard’s holdings at $313.97 million. Together, those investments represent a stake in two leading Bitcoin mining firms and are worth a combined $619.7 million.

Vanguard has little other interest in crypto

Vanguard is currently the second largest asset manager in the world, with $8.1 trillion of assets under management (AUM) as of 2022.

Despite its focus on providing exchange-traded funds, Vanguard did not apply for a spot Bitcoin ETF fund alongside BlackRock and Fidelity in June.

The company has also discouraged direct crypto investments. In May 2022, Vanguard CIO Greg Davis described cryptocurrency as a speculative asset without intrinsic value and not a “great way to construct a long-term portfolio for clients.” Davis noted, however, that the company does use blockchain technology to retrieve index data.

The company published a more general statement in April 2022, warning of price volatility and high commission rates as well as the speculative nature of crypto.

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