Bitcoin ETF asset race: Bitwise, Fidelity snag flow lead while money leaves GBTC

The first spot bitcoin ETFs in the US attracted $655 million in day-one net flows, according to initial Bloomberg Intelligence data

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Fidelity director of global macro Jurrien Timmer | DAS 2022 by Blockworks

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Spot bitcoin ETFs by Bitwise and Fidelity saw higher day-one inflows compared to their competitors, according to initial data from Bloomberg Intelligence.

The Bitwise and Fidelity products saw net inflows of $238 million and $227 million, respectively, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart said in a Friday afternoon X post. 

About $112 million in net flows entered BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT), he added. 

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BitMex research posted similar flow figures about a few hours prior — though that excluded roughly $29 million in flows for Valkyrie’s spot bitcoin fund.  

Meanwhile, Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC) saw net outflows of roughly $95 million, the Bloomberg Intelligence data shows. 

Industry watchers told Blockworks earlier this week they expected the newly converted fund — with a substantially higher fee than rival offerings, at 1.5% — to see outflows over time. 

Fellow Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Eric Balchunas shared net flow figures similar to Seyffart in an earlier X post, but noted the data represents an “incomplete picture.” 

A Bitwise spokesperson confirmed to Blockworks the firm’s data indicates that roughly $240 million entered into its spot bitcoin ETF Thursday. 

Representatives for Grayscale and Fidelity declined to comment on specific day-one flow figures outside of public disclosures. A BlackRock spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Read more: BlackRock bitcoin ETF is outperforming bitcoin

Sumit Roy, a senior analyst at ETF.com, said the $655 million in day-one net flows was a bit “underwhelming” considering the $4.5 billion or so in trading volumes seen Thursday across the 10 spot bitcoin ETFs.

“But the data isn’t complete, so in the coming days we could — and probably will — see that number tick higher,” Roy said. 

GBTC accounted for roughly half of the spot bitcoin ETF trading volumes Thursday, according to Yahoo Finance data. BlackRock’s IBIT saw roughly a quarter of the volumes for such funds. 

Read more: Spot bitcoin ETF volumes eclipse $4.5B on first day of trading

The latest Bloomberg Intelligence flow data suggests much of the day-one trading activity in bitcoin ETFs was short-term in nature, Roy explained.

“One person could buy and sell a bitcoin ETF ten times in a day, inflating the volume numbers,” he said. “But unless they hold onto their shares overnight, that activity won’t translate into flows.” 

VanEck analysts wrote last month they estimate spot bitcoin ETFs to see $2.4 billion of inflows in their first three months on the market. Galaxy Digital research associate Charles Yu wrote in an October report he expects such funds to bring in about $14 billion in their first year

Longer-term, certain bitcoin bulls expect tens or hundreds of billions of dollars to enter spot bitcoin ETFs in the coming years, Roy noted. 

Bitwise Chief Investment Officer Matt Hougan has said he believes spot bitcoin ETFs could see $55 billion in net flows in their first five years on the market.  

Read more: The crypto world reacts to day one of bitcoin spot ETF trading

“In that context, a first-day haul of $655 million isn’t great, but it’s not horrible either,” Roy said. “It’s still early, and we could see more substantial inflows in the coming weeks or months.”


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