May 29, 2024 - Economy

Charted: 👣 First mover vs. TradFi juggernaut

A line chart that tracks the daily values of the biggest spot Bitcoin ETFs, IBIT and GBTC, from March 15 to May 28, 2024. The iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) is poised to surpass the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC), with inflows accruing to the TradFi shop's ETF.
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT), is now the biggest ETF in the category, though the figures 👆 don't fully reflect it.

  • Assets under management data hasn't caught up with flows, but a back-of-the-envelope calculation by Axios puts it at tops.

Why it matters: A TradFi firm that only recently began embracing digital assets supplanted a crypto native that has been at it for over a decade.

  • Between the lines: That makes the incumbent, Grayscale's Bitcoin Trust ETF (GBTC), No. 2 now.

The intrigue: CoinShares estimated another $719 million accrued to IBIT as of May 25 — all tallied, that would push it past Grayscale.

  • James Butterfill, head of research at CoinShares, said in an email that our math was correct, but discounts Grayscale's ether fund.

Reality check: Only counting bitcoin, BlackRock is the king.

What they're saying: A BlackRock spokesperson confirmed the data, telling Axios that IBIT's success is owed to "investors' preference to access bitcoin through the convenience of the ETF vehicle."

Crystal's thought bubble: Some kings don't need a maker.

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