U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase said Tuesday that it brokered Microstrategy’s $425 million bitcoin purchase earlier this year. Until now, it has not been clear who facilitated the deal.
The deals – done via the exchange’s brokerage unit called Coinbase Prime – leveraged human effort and trading algorithms that sliced Microstrategy’s order into 200,000 fills. Each fill averaged under 0.3 BTC in size, it said.
Cutting the main order into much smaller orders placed across several liquidity pools helped to “minimize price impact … [and] to not disturb the market” while achieving savings of $4.25 million for Microstrategy.
“Using our advanced execution capabilities, leading crypto prime brokerage platform, and OTC desk, we were able to buy a significant amount of bitcoin on behalf of Microstrategy and did so without moving the market,” Brett Tejpaul, head of institutional sales, custody and prime services at Coinbase, said in a blog post.
Microstrategy, a Nasdaq-listed business intelligence and software company, with a market capitalization of $3.02 billion, has become a central talking point in the crypto industry since it decided to invest in bitcoin as a reserve asset, pouring in $425 million into the virtual currency.
The purchase was made in two tranches, with the second $175 million buy executed later in September. Microstrategy chief executive officer Michael Saylor has described bitcoin as “a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.”
It seemed Microstrategy had achieved some influence over some publicly traded companies looking for safe-haven asset alternatives outside the traditional pots such as gold. Square, the Jack Dorsey-owned firm, followed Microstrategy’s investment with a $50 million bitcoin purchase of its own.
Several publicly listed companies are now piling into BTC, which has helped the asset’s price to breach all-time highs. Coinbase is looking to cash in on institutional investors intending to make large purchases of bitcoin.
“We hope that this is an inflection point for the cryptoeconomy and look forward to helping more corporate companies and institutions looking to diversify their capital allocation strategies with crypto,” Tejpaul stated.