BlackRock's IBIT Hits $10B Faster Than Any Other ETF

The iShares ETF has surpassed Grayscale's GBTC as the biggest spot bitcoin trading vehicle.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Ron Day

Blackrock Inc.’s spot bitcoin ETF hit $10 billion in assets Friday, hitting that milestone faster than any exchange-traded fund before it.

The iShares Bitcoin ETF (IBIT) hit double digits in assets seven weeks after its Jan. 11 launch, on the heels of a week of record trading and inflows for the group of 10 trading spot bitcoin ETFs, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data. IBIT brought in about $604 million in inflows on Thursday, a day after hitting a single-day record of $612 million in inflows. 

IBIT crossing $10 billion makes it one of only 152 ETFs out of 3,400 trading to hit that mark, according to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. He also noted in a tweet that more than three-quarters of IBIT’s assets under management are from flows, and the rest from price gains. BlackRock's speed record breaks that of the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), which took more than two years after its 2004 launch to reach $10 billion in assets, according to etf.com senior analyst Sumit Roy.

BlackRock, the asset management behemoth that boasts $2.7 trillion in its 408 iShares branded ETFs, sought permission to launch its cryptocurrency ETF in June 2023, a decade after the Winklevoss twins applied with the SEC to create such a vehicle. The firm’s spot bitcoin ETF filing is noted by analysts as a turning point in the decade long regulatory battle between the Securities and Exchange Commission and ETF issuers vying to bring the first spot bitcoin fund to market.

“I’m not surprised that iShares is in the lead, they were the catalyst that put attention back on the spot bitcoin ETF filings last summer,” Morningstar ETF analyst Bryan Armour said in an interview. “What I am surprised at is that iShares has already supplanted Grayscale’s GBTC in terms of being the main trading vehicle for Bitcoin.”

IBIT and Bitcoin's Surge

While the SEC has allowed funds that give exposure to bitcoin futures since 2021, the agency rejected dozens of applications for an ETF that owns bitcoin and trades on its spot price. The watershed approval took place Jan. 10, and a slew of firms, including Fidelity Investments and Bitwise Asset Management, began trading their funds the next day.

The cryptocurrency is up 20% in the past five days, and up 44% over the past month. The bitcoin price broke $60,000 on Wednesday, the firm time its price was that high since November 2021, according to data from Coindesk. As bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed over the past week, assets in all spot bitcoin ETFs have surged, along with the rally attracting fresh money to the funds. 

Financial services platforms such as Bank of America Inc.’s Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo & Co. put spot bitcoin ETFs on their brokerages this week, opening another spigot for assets flowing into the funds.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs Successful Launch

Since their launch, the spot bitcoin ETFs have been lauded as a historic success, validating cryptocurrency bulls and surprising critics with the reception they’ve gotten from ETF investors.

After IBIT, the next spot bitcoin fund with the most assets is Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC), which has about $6.5 billion in assets, followed by the $2.1 billion ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) and the $1.5 billion Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB).

Investors appear to be drawn to funds with a combination of low fees, a recognizable brand and cryptocurrency expertise.

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.