Jan 8, 2024 - Business

Fee battle already underway as bitcoin ETFs await SEC approval

Illustration of a hurdle with the top bar shaped like a US dollar sign.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Fresh disclosures from 10 Bitcoin ETF hopefuls including BlackRock and Fidelity on Monday show the race to zero on fees is already well underway.

Why it matters: With some dozen fund issuers primed for the SEC to fire the starting gun this week, this early battle for dollars may be pivotal for which ETFs stand the test of time.

Details: ARK 21Shares, BlackRock and Invesco/Galaxy are rolling out deals.

  • BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) will waive a portion of its annual fee and charge 0.2% for the first $5 billion of assets over the first 12 months. (Otherwise, it would be 0.3%), according to its amended registration filing, known as an S-1, Monday.
  • ARK 21Shares will charge 0% for the first six months, or until reaching $1 billion in assets, but its normal expense ratio will be 0.25%.
  • Fidelity is charging 0.39%.

Zoom in: With ARK's disclosure Monday, Invesco/Galaxy's previously published deal of 0% for the first $5 billion for six months versus its regular 0.59%, has competition.

  • Yes, but: In terms of normal fees, Bitwise's ETF sports the lowest of the bunch, or 0.24%.

Grayscale also amended its ETF application Monday to convert its bitcoin trust (GBTC) into an ETF, revealing a planned 1.5% annual fee, down from the 2% it charged as a trust.

  • Assuming bitcoin ETFs are approved across the board, GBTC-converted would still charge the highest annual fee compared to the nine other issuers who filed amended S-1s on Monday.

Zoom out: Fees won't be the only way these ETF shops compete — there are already brand ads vying for attention, and others, paying homage to crypto natives.

Go deeper: Unpacking the bitcoin ETF frenzy

Go deeper