Author: CoinGeckoMiguel Benitez
Compiled by: Odaily Odaily Nian Yinsitang
Editor's note: CoinGecko recently released the "12 LargestSpot & FuturesBitcoinETFs" report, which provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of global Bitcoin ETFs. Odaily Odaily is compiled as follows:
Bitcoin ETFs have been one of the most anticipated developments in the crypto space.
While Bitcoin ETFs are already trading in countries such as Canada, Brazil, and Europe, spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. market still face regulatory hurdles. However, there are several popular futures-based ETFs in the United States, and several spot ETF applications are awaiting SEC approval.
The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is the first Bitcoin ETF to trade on a major U.S. exchange, launching in the fourth quarter of 2021 - at the height of the bull market. The ETF currently holds 35,890 Bitcoins and is the oldest and largest fund in the field. Two of the top 12 Bitcoin ETFs (holding 16.6% of Bitcoin ETFs) are managed by ProShares and can be traded in the United States.
As more ETFs and ETPs emerge around the world, the number of Bitcoins held by investment vehicles is rising every year. Overall, the top 12 Bitcoin ETFs hold 102,619 Bitcoins, just under 0.5% of the total Bitcoin supply (21 million). Because the ETF is regularly rebalanced, the number of Bitcoins it holds changes with the price of the currency. The frequency of ETF rebalancing can vary from daily to annually. For example, the PurposeBitcoin ETF (BTCC) rebalances monthly, while the S&P 500 Index (S&P 500) rebalances quarterly.
Who are the Top 12 Bitcoin spot and futures ETFs?
The top 12 Bitcoin spot and futures ETFs that can be traded are as follows:
Bitcoin ETFs outside the U.S.
In fact, several countries have approved ETFs for direct investment in Bitcoin before the United States. Among them, the top spot Bitcoin ETFs include:
Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC)
Launched in February 2021, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF is North America’s first spot Bitcoin ETF. As of September 2023, it currently holds over 25,000 Bitcoins. The ETF trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and has been extremely popular, with assets under management exceeding $1.1 billion.
3iQCoinSharesBitcoin ETF (BTCQ)
This is another Canadian Bitcoin ETF, also traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, holding over 21,000 Bitcoins as of September 2023.
QBTC11 by QR Asset Management（QBTC11）
Latin America’s first Bitcoin ETF was launched on the Brazilian Stock Exchange in June 2021. As of September 2023, the QBTC11 ETF currently holds 727 Bitcoins.
The success of these Bitcoin ETFs shows strong investor demand. At the same time, relative to Bitcoin’s market capitalization of approximately US$1 trillion, there is undoubtedly a lot of room for growth in the size of ETFs. This may also indicate that there will be room for significant growth in Bitcoin prices once the U.S. spot ETF is launched.
What is the current status of U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs?
While Bitcoin futures ETFs already exist in the United States, the future of spot Bitcoin ETFs remains unclear. One of the main reasons for the lack of spot ETFs in the United States is regulatory concerns. The SEC has repeatedly rejected applications for a Bitcoin spot ETF, citing concerns about the liquidity of the Bitcoin market, custody and the possibility of price manipulation.
However, multiple recent applications from global asset managers have been published in the Federal Register, moving one step closer to final approval. Some have been formally accepted for review and open for a three-week comment period.
Which companies have applied for spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States?
The following companies have applied for spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States:
BlackRock, July 2023
WisdomTree, July 2023
Invesco/Galaxy, July 2023
Valkyrie, June 2023
In addition, other large companies with existing futures ETFs have also joined the ranks of resubmitting applications for the first U.S. spot ETF, including VanEck and Fidelity. Companies that have not yet resubmitted after their applications were rejected include Global X, Kryptoin and First Trust.
Another asset manager, Grayscale, is currently awaiting a review of its application to convert a Bitcoin trust into an ETF following a federal appeals court ruling. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is currently the largest Bitcoin ETP, holding 623,645 Bitcoins. The ruling said the SEC did not provide enough information to explain why Grayscale’s application was not “substantially similar” to other approved futures ETFs — failing to convince the judge that the spot market was less safe for investors than the futures market.
Some futures ETFs that perform well
While many expect the launch of futures ETFs to increase pressure to approve spot ETFs, there has been little sign of this so far.
Several major Bitcoin futures ETFs have been launched since October 2021, but they have accumulated smaller assets than the Canadian and Brazilian ETFs. Futures ETFs have also underperformed Bitcoin prices, casting doubt on their effectiveness. Major futures ETFs include:
ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO)
The ETF holds 7,178 CME contracts, equivalent to more than 38,000 Bitcoins. As of September 2023, the ETF’s asset management scale is slightly less than US$1 billion.
ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF (BITI)
This is ProShares’ second ETF product, holding 564 CME contracts, equivalent to 2,820 Bitcoins.
VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (XBTF)
The ETF holds 320 CME contracts, equivalent to 1,600 Bitcoins.
How much impact will the U.S. spot Bitcoin ETF have on the market?
If a spot Bitcoin ETF is ultimately approved, it could have a significant impact on the Bitcoin and crypto markets for the following reasons:
Mainstream exposure: Spot ETFs will provide Bitcoin exposure to tens of millions of new investors through retirement and brokerage accounts in an unprecedented way.
Increased legitimacy: SEC approval will increase Bitcoin’s legitimacy and reduce skepticism from institutional investors and advisors about Bitcoin as an investable asset class.
Positive price effect: The launch of the Canadian and Brazilian ETFs ushered in a sharp rise in Bitcoin prices in 2021. The launch of spot ETFs in the United States may also stimulate investor interest and trigger a similar bull market.
While it is unclear when the SEC might approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, the launch of overseas Bitcoin ETFs and recent filings in the Federal Register highlight the favorable regulatory momentum regarding these products.
Note: This study evaluates the availability of global Bitcoin ETF spot and futures in 2023. Data collected from BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com (spot ETFs) and Forbes (futures ETFs).
Only ETFs that only trade Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures were included in the final list. Therefore, all ETPs, trusts and ETFs that trade blockchain-related stocks or other cryptocurrencies are excluded. This research is illustrative and informational only and is not financial advice. DYOR.