Bitwise Leads Day 1 Spot Bitcoin ETF Flows

The crypto index fund manager charged the second lowest fee among newly approved issuers.

ETF.com
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Contributing Editor
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Ron Day

In an opening day of spot bitcoin ETF trading that underperformed expectations of some analysts, Bitwise Asset Management generated the most inflows.  

The San Francisco-based crypto index fund manager generated $237.9 million in inflows, the most of the 11 products that opened for trading on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the Securities and Exchange Commission had approved them. In all, issuers generated about $721 million in inflows.

The Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund and iShares Bitcoin Trust ranked second and third, respectively, with $226.9 million and $111.6 million in inflows, respectively.

Still, Bitwise and the other 10 issuers’ debut seemed to underscore pent-up demand for the product that is based on the price of bitcoin, the world’s largest digital asset by market capitalization. The SEC had rejected multiple applications over roughly a decade, including as recently as early 2023.  

Issuers generated approximately $4.7 billion in trading volume, far exceeding the $4 billion that analysts had been predicting.  

“The first day inflows were bit underwhelming considering the $4.7 billion of volume we saw on Thursday, but the data isn't complete so in the coming days we could—and probably will—see that number tick higher,” wrote ETF.com analyst Sumit Roy. 

Roy added that “the flows suggest that a lot of the trading activity in bitcoin ETFs during the first day was short-term in nature,’ and that longer-term bitcoin bulls are expecting “tens, or in some cases, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of inflows for bitcoin ETFs over the next one to five years. Anything short of that would be a disappointment to them.” 

Bitwise Low Fees

Bitwise is not charging a fee for the first six months and will then the fee will be .20%, the second lowest among issuers. In a press release Thursday, the company’s CEO Hunter Horsley said that the company was expecting “significant demand for bitcoin ETFs like BITB.” 

“Every year for the past six years, financial advisors have identified ETFs as their preferred way to help clients access bitcoin,” he said  

Ark21 Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) and Franklin Bitcoin ETF ranked fourth and fifth in inflows with $65.3 and $50.1, respectively.  

“Congrats to $BITB for winning Day One of the Cointucky Derby w/ $238m in flows. $FBTC,” Eric Balchunas, senior ETF analyst for Bloomberg wrote in a post on the social media platform X/Twitter. 

James Rubin is a contributing editor for etf.com, where he produces the Morning Exchange and Weekly Exchange newsletters. A longtime financial writer, editor and book author, he formerly held positions as a news and markets editor for the Americas at CoinDesk, where he focussed on cryptocurrencies. 

He provided editorial guidance for a Wall Street Journal best-selling book on Bitcoin and oversaw a startup newsroom focused on digital financial assets. He has edited for TheStreet and Unchained, where he wrote daily news stories about the trial of fallen crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried. His writing has also appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, Forbes.com, AdWeek, Bankrate, The Financial Brand and The Wall Street Journal. He has also written for Forbes Insights and the Economist Intelligence Unit, including papers presented at World Economic Forums in Davos and Mumbai. 

James is the co-author of The Urban Cyclist’s Survival Guide (Triumph Books) and has been interviewed about bike safety on a number of NPR affiliates. In a prior career, Rubin was a world-ranked tennis player, once competing in Wimbledon’s qualifying rounds. He speaks fluent German and is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received his BA at Columbia University.