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Bitcoin ETF Flows: The First Week
The nine new Bitcoin ETFs have included some of the most successful ETF launches of all time.
It has now been over a week since the first bitcoin spot ETFs were launched. There have been five full trading days (Monday being a public holiday in the US), and data is available for four of those. Reporting standards for TradFi mean that it can take a while for ETF flows and assets to be updated, and some are faster than others.
So, what does the data tell us about how these new ETFs are faring?
Grayscale: How Not To Do It
We're using publicly-available data that has been collected together by X/Twitter user CC15Capital from the providers' websites. As shown in the table below, we have full data for the first four days. Only Bitwise has updated their figures for yesterday so far.
First up: The elephant in the room. Grayscale has been hemorrhaging BTC as holders bail to take profits and, in many cases, reinvest their funds in an ETF with lower fees. Over just 4 days, Grayscale has lost nearly 38,000 BTC. They still, of course, have a huge amount of bitcoin under management, having started close to 620,000 BTC.
Net Positive Flows
The good news is that even this torrent of blood from GBTC has not offset the vast amount of BTC being hoovered up by the others. In the first four days, those nine added 68,933 BTC to their holdings, meaning more than 30,000 BTC have been added across all ETFs (i.e., taking Grayscale's outflows into account).
This represents a staggering success. ETFs, in general, do not get anything like these flows and trading volumes. What's more, interest does not appear to be dying down after the first flurry of publicity. Inflows accelerated on Wednesday. We'll know more about any ongoing pattern when more of Thursday's figures come in, but this is a very promising start, as several analysts have pointed out.
Right now, no one who is holding one of the BTC ETFs is in profit. Prices have been sliding since the launch. And yet, inflows continue. A new generation of Bitcoiners are buying the dip and are being introduced, up close and personal, to the volatility that is the hallmark of the crypto markets.
On the subject of that other elephant in the room: Why is BTC's price falling when there is so much new demand from these ETFs?
It's pretty simple. Bitcoin had a huge run-up last year. Traders bought the rumor of ETFs and are selling the news. The ETFs are a source of significant new demand, there is no question. But all told, an average of 7,500 BTC per day is a relatively small amount compared to the total trading volume, which is perhaps a hundred times greater than this. The new ETF buys are offsetting the sell pressure, but only enough to slow the price decline, not reverse it—yet.
Should inflows continue at the current rate, that will inevitably happen: Slowly, then quickly.
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