Chicago-area bank First Midwest is the latest U.S. financial institution to add bitcoin exposure to its portfolio, according to an April 15 filing with the Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC)

First Midwest Bank acquired 7,693 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), worth approximately $3.8 million on March 31, the regional bank's latest SEC filing shows.

The GBTC was a new acquisition was a new one for First Midwest, and records show likely its first foray into cryptocurrency exposure. First Midwest did not immediately return a request for comment. 

The acquisition represents about one half of one percent of First Midwest's Trust Division's approximately $725 million in holdings. 

The First Midwest filing could be the the trickle ahead of an avalanche, as firms with more than $100 million report their holdings to the SEC.  

Already, Rothschild Investment Corp. has reported making huge gains to its cryptocurrency exposure, acquiring more than 250,000 shares of Grayscale Ethereum Trust, in addition to padding its GBTC holdings. 

The filings are expected to trickle out in the coming month as firms have 45 days from the end of the quarter to file them. 

An analysis of SEC data shows 42 firms reported some form of bitcoin exposure during the final quarter of 2020.  

First Midwest Bank has served the Chicago region and its suburbs for more than 80 years. It's currently helmed by CEO Michael L. Scudder and claims more than $20 billion in total assets. 

Bitcoin was trading at slightly more than $56,100 Monday afternoon, after a volatile week that saw the cryptocurrency hit record highs and fall by more than 15% over the weekend. 

Chicago-area bank First Midwest is the latest U.S. financial institution to add bitcoin exposure to its portfolio, according to an April 15 filing with the Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC)

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