Spot Bitcoin ETFs Now the World’s Largest BTC Holder

Analyst projects spot fund inflows can propel bitcoin’s price above $100,000 in 2024.

kent
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Research Lead
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

What a difference three weeks can make in crypto. 

Since their Jan. 22 post-launch price low, the largest spot bitcoin ETFs—the iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC)—have jumped nearly 30% as bitcoin’s price soared past $50,000 in Monday trading, a level untouched in more than two years. 

The proxy exchange-traded fund for crypto equities, the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ), is up 35% and the Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI) has rocketed 50% in the same period. 

Renewed optimism and forward momentum for spot bitcoin ETFs began accelerating last week as BTC’s price surpassed the $45,000 level for the first time since Jan. 12, the day after the new bitcoin funds began trading. 

How Spot Bitcoin ETFs Can Propel BTC Beyond $100k 

While the $50,000 milestone is significant, many investors are now anticipating the $100,000 price point for the digital currency. 

If the current trend of spot bitcoin ETF inflows continues, Bitcoin prices could reach $112,000 in 2024, according to on-chain data provider CryptoQuant. 

The company’s CEO, Ki Young Ju, said on X the “worst case” scenario for bitcoin was at least $55,000, or 10% higher than where the digital currency was trading Monday.  

As of Feb. 9, spot bitcoin ETFs have attracted more than $9 billion of inflows. CryptoQuant’s metric projects that a trend of inflows at $9.5 billion per month could push bitcoin’s top price to a $104k–$112k. 

In a note to etf.com, Mark Connors, head of research at Canadian crypto asset manager 3iQ, wrote that surging interest in the spot BTC ETFs has come as speculators and hedge funds who “bought GBTC at a discount and sold spot BTC against it have likely exited that trade," and separately, that “Bitwise, BlackRock, Fidelity, Ark and others have identified and harnessed demand in excess of ALL expectations.”  

But he also added that “growing geopolitical unrest globally and other macroeconomic issues may also have spurred interest in bitcoin" and its related products as a "safer haven,” similar to the trend that occurred in March 2023 during a series of regional bank failures. 

Spot Bitcoin ETFs Now the World’s Largest BTC Holder

As of the same date, spot bitcoin ETFs had reached 192,000 in bitcoin holdings, excluding the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). That total has surpassed the 190,000 bitcoin held by business intelligence provider and large-scale bitcoin investor MicroStrategy, making the spot bitcoin funds collectively the world’s largest bitcoin holder. 

While large-scale ownership by the likes of MicroStrategy and behemoth ETF issuers like BlackRock and Fidelity can be problematic at extreme levels, the percentage of ownership even after adding GBTC’s tokens, currently reaches only 4% of the broader Bitcoin network. 

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.