Best Crypto ETFs of 2023 by Performance

The top-performing crypto ETFs of 2023 have big gains between 51% and 108%.

kent
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Research Lead
Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Mark Nacinovich

Cryptocurrency ETFs are among the top-performing investments in 2023, with some gaining near or above 100% on the year. We spotlight the top 5 best crypto ETFs of 2023 with details on each fund, as well as an outlook on crypto for 2024. 

What Is a Cryptocurrency ETF? 

A cryptocurrency ETF is an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of a single cryptocurrency or a basket of cryptocurrencies. Some crypto funds track the price of bitcoin with futures contracts, while others may hold equity positions in crypto-related companies, such as crypto miners, or related technology, such as blockchain. 

The first cryptocurrency ETF on the market was the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which began trading on the NYSE ARCA exchange on Oct. 19, 2021. The largest crypto ETF on the market, BITO does not invest directly in bitcoin. The fund invests in cash-settled, front-month bitcoin futures.  

The 5 Best Crypto ETFs of 2023 

TickerFundAUMExpense RatioYTD 2023
WGMIValkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF$13.9M0.75%108.28%
BITQ Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF $74.8M0.85%97.64%
SATOInvesco Alerian Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF$4.2M0.61%97.42%
BITSGlobal X Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF$11.7M0.65%73.68%
DEFIHashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF$1.7M0.92%51.73%

Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF 

The Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI) is an actively managed crypto ETF that invests in companies that derive at least 50% of their revenue from bitcoin mining operations or services related to bitcoin mining. WGMI doesn’t hold bitcoin or provide indirect exposure through bitcoin futures. Instead, WGMI holds common stocks and American depositary receipts, or ADRs, listed on global exchanges.  

  • 2023 return: 108.28% 
  • Assets under management: $14 million  
  • Expense ratio: 0.75% 
  • As of date: Sept. 30, 2023 

Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF  

The Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ) seeks to track a modified market-cap-weighted index of global companies supporting a cryptocurrency economy. Companies are sorted into two tiers: Tier 1 includes “Crypto Innovators” that derive more than 75% of their revenue directly in crypto assets. Tier 2 consists of large-cap stocks of companies involved in at least one significant crypto economy line of business.  

  • 2023 return: 97.64% 
  • Assets under management: $74.8 million 
  • Expense ratio: 0.85% 
  • As of date: Sept. 30, 2023 

Invesco Alerian Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF   

The Invesco Alerian Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF (SATO) tracks an index made up of companies that are involved in cryptocurrency, crypto mining, cryptocurrency buying, or enabling technologies and exchange-traded products and private investment trusts, such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). 

  • 2023 return: 97.42% 
  • Assets under management: $4.2 million 
  • Expense ratio: 0.61% 
  • As of date: Sept. 30, 2023 

Global X Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF  

The Global X Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITS) is an actively managed ETF that seeks to capture the long-term growth potential of blockchain companies and bitcoin futures. BITS will not invest directly in bitcoin, and it currently delivers exposure to blockchain companies through other ETFs, including the affiliated Global X Blockchain ETF. 

  • 2023 return: 73.68% 
  • Assets under management: $11.7 million 
  • Expense ratio: 0.65% 
  • As of date: Sept. 30, 2023 

Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF 

The Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF (DEFI) tracks an index that provides the average closing settlement prices for the front month bitcoin futures contracts listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The CME bitcoin futures contracts are USD cash-settled contracts based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, or BRR, which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the USD price of bitcoin. 

  • 2023 return: 51.73% 
  • Assets under management: $1.7 million 
  • Expense ratio: 0.92% 
  • As of date: Sept. 30, 2023 

Outlook for Crypto ETFs in 2024 

The outlook for crypto in 2024 is mixed. Some potential positives include increased institutional adoption and regulatory developments. For example, hedge funds and pension funds have been increasing their investments in cryptocurrencies, and that trend could continue in 2024. Countries, such as El Salvador and Singapore, are taking a more positive approach to cryptocurrency regulation. Furthermore, the U.S. is considering approval of a spot bitcoin ETF.  

These and other factors could give a boost to the cryptocurrency market in 2024. Investors should keep in mind that while cryptocurrency ETFs have strong growth potential, they can also have elevated risk and can have significant short-term declines. For example, the top-performing crypto ETFs of 2023 surged nearly 100% or higher, but some of those same ETFs declined by more than 80% in 2022. 

Kent Thune is Research Lead for etf.com, focusing on educational content, thought leadership, content management and search engine optimization. Before joining etf.com, he wrote for numerous investment websites, including Seeking Alpha and Kiplinger. 

 

Kent holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and is a practicing Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) with 25 years of experience managing investments, guiding clients through some of the worst economic and market environments in U.S. history. He has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching classes for The College of Charleston and Trident Technical College on the topics of retirement planning, business finance, and entrepreneurship. 

 

Kent founded a registered investment advisory firm in 2006 and is based in Hilton Head Island, SC, where he lives with his wife and two sons. Outside of work, Kent enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and working on his philosophy book, which he plans to publish in the coming year.