GBTC’s asset bleeding to blame for week of flat crypto product flows 

Crypto fund trading volumes amounted to $11.8 billion last week — roughly seven times the weekly average in 2023, according to CoinShares

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Artwork by Crystal Le

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The net outflows for Grayscale’s new spot bitcoin ETF offset big asset gains made by a slate of rival US offerings.

Money has been flowing out of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC) since it launched alongside nine other spot bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 11. Grayscale Investments saw outflows of more than $2.2 billion last week, according to CoinShares data. 

GBTC launched in 2013 and currently has roughly $23.5 billion in assets under management. The fund converted to an ETF earlier this month, allowing investors to sell shares of the fund at its net asset value.  

The Grayscale ETF charges a 1.5% fee — substantially higher than similar offerings in the US, which charge between 0.19% and 0.39%.

Read more: Why the planned fee for Grayscale’s bitcoin ETF is much higher than others

CoinDesk reported Monday that bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has sold roughly 22 million GBTC shares, worth nearly $1 billion — accounting for a large chunk of the fund’s latest outflows. Blockworks could not immediately confirm this report.   

Grayscale’s $2.2 billion of net outflows countered the big bitcoin ETF inflows reeled in by two financial services giants. BlackRock and Fidelity Investments last week notched net crypto-related inflows of $931 million and $860 million, respectively, CoinShares data shows. 

While BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust reached $1 billion in assets after four days of trading, Fidelity’s bitcoin fund eclipsed the milestone on its fifth trading day. 

The spot bitcoin ETF by Bitwise has so far grown to about $425 million in assets, while one by Ark Invest and 21Shares has reached about $380 million, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data

Read more: Bitcoin ETF Tracker

Despite the slight net outflows driven by money leaving GBTC, crypto investment product trading volumes last week reached $11.8 billion. The figure is about seven times the average weekly volumes seen in 2023, CoinShares research head James Butterfill wrote in a Monday report

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Grayscale wasn’t the only firm to see assets leave its crypto fund. 

Purpose Investments, which launched the first spot bitcoin ETF in Canada in February 2021, endured roughly $102 million in outflows last week. 

US products overall saw $263 million of net inflows last week. This compared to the $297 million of net outflows seen across products in Canada and Europe — suggesting “minor migration of assets to the US, where fees are currently more competitive,” Butterfill noted.


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