“The institutions are coming.”

Anyone who’s been in the Bitcoin space for any significant period of time has heard some prominent figure within the space utter this phrase.

In August 2020, when MicroStrategy, an American-based business software company, announced it would be purchasing bitcoin to add it to its treasury, many thought that was the beginning of the institutional stampede.

But it wasn’t.

Sure, Tesla bought some bitcoin the following year, only to dump 75% of it soon after.

And so from 2020 through 2023, MicroStrategy was an anomaly. During these years, the company — led by Bitcoin permabull Michael Saylor — remained the only major corporation on Earth to convert a notable portion of its treasury into bitcoin.

Saylor’s vision to get MicroStrategy on a bitcoin standard hasn’t wavered, though.

Instead, he has doubled down and continued to guide MicroStrategy as it has put more bitcoin on its balance sheet. He’s also hosted a conference — MicroStrategy World: Bitcoin for Corporations — every year starting the year after his company made its first bitcoin purchase as a means to show other companies how to emulate MicroStrategy.

This year’s edition of the conference — held on May 1 and 2 in Las Vegas, NV — marked the beginning of a new era, according to Saylor, an era in which the time has come for institutions to follow MicroStrategy’s lead.

The Age of Bitcoin For Institutions and Corporations Has Begun

In Saylor’s keynote presentation on the second day of the conference entitled “There Is No Second Best”, he termed 2020-2023 the “crazy years” in the Bitcoin space.

He explained that these years were part of a period of “crypto chaos,” a period from which bitcoin emerged as the dominant and most trusted crypto asset.

What follows the crazy years, Saylor said, are the years in which institutions and corporations embrace Bitcoin, and he told Bitcoin Magazine in an X Spaces on April 30, the day before the conference began, that he believes this new era began in January 2024, when 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs launched in the United States.

Let’s not just take Saylor’s word that a new day has dawned, though. Let’s consider what Hunter Horsley, CEO of Bitwise, one of the 11 financial institutions that launched a spot Bitcoin ETF in the US, had to say about institutional interest in bitcoin.

“The bitcoin ETFs have really brought bitcoin into the realm of possibility for a lot of traditional financial institutions,” Horsley said on a panel during the second day of the conference.

“A lot of traditional and reputable firms have started engaging with bitcoin in a way they never have before, but so few of them are saying anything about it. If you just scroll through your LinkedIn or you read press releases, you would think that nothing has changed versus last year, but, for now, most — or many — are preferring not to have it be public,” he added.

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