Top 5 Spot Bitcoin ETFs – Who Runs Them and How Much BTC Do They Hold?

Following the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) granted by the American Securities and Exchange Commission in January this year, a race started among these entities to accumulate as much Bitcoin as possible and attract customers that would wish to buy their ETF shares.

Eleven ETFs based on the spot Bitcoin price were given the green light by the SEC and they continue to buy BTC every day, except weekends. However, if at the start the only fund that faced outflows was Grayscale’s GBTC, now even such monsters as BlackRock or Fidelity are also sometimes seeing negative inflows. In this article, we will discuss five largest Bitcoin ETFs and how much BTC each of them holds.

Five largest Bitcoin ETFs and their holdings

The biggest of the five largest spot ETFs based on Bitcoin was launched by the world’s largest wealth management firm led by Larry Fink – BlackRock. Its ETF is called iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and it as of June 21 it contains 305,614 BTC. This is the equivalent of $19,644,409,499.

On Friday, IBIT saw an inflow of 23 BTC, while over the last seven days, it has added 46 BTC. The past trading week has been pretty rough in this respect since many of the ETFs have seen zero and even negative inflows. Larry Fink was a vocal Bitcoin critic for many years until recently he made a pivot, turning into a Bitcoin praiser. His company then rapidly began to offer its customers exposure to BTC and later on they filed for a permission to launch a spot exchange-traded fund.

The second largest ETF is run Grayscale – GBTC. The company itself is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group helmed by billionaire Barry Silbert. The ETF was converted from the company’s Bitcoin Trust and it still carries the same name. Grayscale has had to try harder than the rest of the ETF issuers for the right to launch its BTC-based fund – it sued the SEC when the regulator refused to consider the filing and the fund manager won the case.

GBTC holds 279,330 BTC worth $17.8 billion after it saw a massive outflow of 991 BTC on Friday – that is $63.15 million. It total over the last week, it has lost 2,817 Bitcoins. Initially, Grayscale surpassed BlackRock’s ETF in the size of its Bitcoin holdings. However, as Grayscale continued to lose BTC due to its high fees (the highest among the ETFs) and BlackRock kept accumulating, eventually they swapped places on the top two ETF scale.

Michael Sonnenshein, the CEO who lead Grayscale through all the legal ups and downs against the SEC and prepared the launch of the ETF has recently stepped down from his honorable position and left the company.

The third largest ETF was created by the financial giant Fidelity – Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC). As of Friday, June 21, FBTC holdings comprise 168,075 BTC worth $10,792,969,740. At the end of last week, this fund lost 787 BTC with total weekly withdrawals standing at 4,678 Bitcoins.

The ETF that follows FBTC in a descending order is ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) launched by Ark Invest. The company is spearheaded by the renowned investor and CEO Cathie Wood. ARKB Bitcoin holding constitute 46,036 BTC. On Friday, unlike the ETFs mentioned above, ARKB saw zero funds withdrawn from it, but by the end of the week it had arrived with a 1,499 BTC outflow.

The last spot in the top five is held by the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF. This exchange-traded fund contains 37,288 BTC in total, which stands for $2,395,847,220.

The remaining ETFs in the line belong to VanEck, Valkyrie Investments and Franklin Templeton.

The mechanism of spot Bitcoin ETFs

Here is how spot Bitcoin funds operate. They accumulate BTC to hold it in cold storage wallets (where the private keys are kept offline to prevent being stolen by hackers through the Internet) in order to back the ETFs. After the necessary amount of Bitcoin has been secured in the vaults, the emitter issues shares. Their price tracks the spot exchange rate of the world’s largest crypto.

The ETF shares are traded on stock exchanges similarly to other conventional financial assets. Spot ETFs allow traders and investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without having to face various hurdles that may raise in their way – holding Bitcoin and ensuring the safety of the private keys.

Apart from the Bitcoin ETFs, the same companies are now busy filing for spot Ethereum ETFs. These funds have received a preliminary approval from the SEC. This week, the regulatory agency stopped its investigation into Ethereum 2.0 and confirmed the status of Ethereum as a non-security which was a big win for Ethereum developers and holders. Besides, this week, the issuers updated their S-1 forms and filed them with the regulator. The expected date of the spot Ethereum funds approval has also been named by analysts – July 2.