BlackRock extends bitcoin ETF inflows lead as category demand slows

The iShares Bitcoin Trust appears poised to soon surpass Grayscale Investments’ GBTC in assets under management

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BlackRock continues to attract assets to its bitcoin ETF daily, even as its competitors see inflows into similar funds stall.   

The asset management giant’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) has been a flow-gathering standout since US spot bitcoin ETFs launched on Jan. 11. 

It so far has tallied more than $15.3 billion of net inflows — ahead of the $8 billion or so notched by the next-best Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC).

Read more: BlackRock bitcoin fund accounts for 20% of the firm’s Q1 ETF net inflows 

Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC) has kept a slight assets under management edge over IBIT for now — at about $19.4 billion to $17.1 billion, respectively, as of Tuesday. However, GBTC started with about $28 billion in assets upon converting to an ETF in January and has endured nearly $16.5 billion of net outflows. 

Youwei Yang, chief economist at BIT Mining said BlackRock’s strong brand, competitive fee structure and extensive distribution helps the firm’s bitcoin ETF appeal to institutional investors.

Given the growing institutional interest in crypto, IBIT is well-positioned to surpass GBTC in AUM and “potentially maintain long-term leadership in the digital asset management space,” he added.

“This is the ‘winners take all’ scenario where it’s a positive spiral — the more inflows the more liquidity, and thus less fees and then more inflows,” Yang told Blockworks. 

While IBIT quickly proved to be a leader in the space, its consistent net inflows — particularly of late — have once again highlighted its unique status compared to competitors.

Read more: Is it too soon to name BlackRock the bitcoin ETF segment winner?

Nine US spot bitcoin ETFs saw zero inflows on both April 12 and April 15, according to Farside Investors data. IBIT’s net inflows amounted to $111 million and $73 million on those days, respectively.  

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ETF.com analyst Sumit Roy in January called the BTC fund asset race between BlackRock and Fidelity “a heavyweight fight that could go either way.” Fast forward more than two months, and IBIT’s net inflows stand at nearly double those of FBTC. 

The lack of inflows for Fidelity Investments’ bitcoin fund on April 12 snapped a 63-day streak for the offering. 

Meanwhile, IBIT’s run of days with net inflows continues, standing at 66 days after welcoming $26 million of investor assets on Tuesday. 

The streak is unprecedented for a new ETF and very rare for such a fund of any age. 

The BlackRock bitcoin ETF passed the 65-day inflow streak set by iShares MSCI USA Min Vol Factor ETF (USMV), according to data posted by Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Eric Balchunas. IBIT could tie a 67-day run set by the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) if it sees net inflows Wednesday.

BlackRock likely “ticks the most investor due diligence boxes” of the spot bitcoin ETFs given its competitive fee, large asset base, liquidity and availability on platforms, according to CoinShares research head James Butterfill.

IBIT is positioned to be the long-term asset leader in the bitcoin ETF space, he added. 

“Being issued by the largest asset manager in the world gives it a lot of credibility in the eyes of investors,” Butterfill told Blockworks. “It has been very successful in other markets in the same way too.”


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