HomeBitcoinVictors and Vanquished in the Race for a US Spot Bitcoin ETF

Victors and Vanquished in the Race for a US Spot Bitcoin ETF


Spot Bitcoin ETFs: Big Winners and Losers in the Cryptocurrency Market

The launch of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US on January 11 has seen a massive influx of $12.1 billion from investors, with BlackRock’s iShares brand and Fidelity Investments emerging as the biggest winners in this new market. These two industry giants have captured over 80% of the total investment in the newly-launched spot bitcoin funds.

According to Bryan Armour, director of passive strategies research for North America at Morningstar, the success of iShares and Fidelity can be attributed to their massive asset management capabilities and strong distribution networks. In contrast, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which was the preferred choice for crypto-tracking ETFs before the advent of spot bitcoin funds, has witnessed a significant outflow of $17.2 billion.

The approval of spot bitcoin ETFs by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January marked a long-awaited milestone for both crypto enthusiasts and fund companies. Prior to this approval, ETFs were prohibited from directly owning bitcoin, leading investors to opt for alternatives like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust or ETFs tracking bitcoin’s price via futures markets.

Despite the nearly identical performance of all spot bitcoin ETFs, investor responses have varied widely. iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT) and Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin ETF (FBTC) have attracted significant inflows of $15.6 billion and $8.2 billion respectively, while smaller players like ARK and Bitwise have also seen substantial investments in their funds.

The rollout of spot bitcoin ETFs has not been favorable for Grayscale, as investors have pulled $17.2 billion from its ETF. With a higher expense ratio compared to other spot ETFs, Grayscale has faced challenges in retaining investors. Most funds have offered discounted or zero expense ratios during the early launch period to attract investors.

Overall, the launch of spot bitcoin ETFs has been deemed successful, despite some price volatility. The industry is witnessing a shift towards mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency investments, with established asset managers like BlackRock and Fidelity leading the way in this new market.


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