First Spot Bitcoin ETF Trading Day: Who Won The Race And Which Is Now The Cheapest?

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Last updated Jan 16, 2024 | 10:34 AM UTC

Billions of dollars have been pumped into the 11 spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) during a flurry of investor activity following the long-awaited SEC approval of the products in the United States.

Total spot Bitcoin ETF volumes

As of today, 12 January 2024, spot Bitcoin ETFs across all 11 issuers are estimated to now have more than $28.1billion in total market cap. As per data from The Block, spot Bitcoin ETF volumes have come to more than $4.5bn so far. 

Grayscale dominates

Topping the chart is the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), a fund that was running for an entire decade prior to converting into an ETF. With this head start, Grayscale commands the lion's share of the spot BTC ETF market with over $28.6bn in assets under management (AUM), accounting for more than 95% of the entire Bitcoin ETF market cap, which includes Bitcoin Futures ETFs.

GBTC shares are being offered around the $40 mark, which is a relatively modest ask when compared to Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF (DEFI) which trades at around $56. Despite reducing fees from 2% to 1.5%, Grayscale has the highest fees of the bunch.

Rationalizing the fees, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein noted in an interview with CNBC yesterday: “​​We believe the product's management fee reflects its value, as investors and the broader capital markets will benefit from GBTC's large asset base, strong liquidity, and 10-year track record.”

Most affordable Bitcoin ETF

The Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund (BRRR) is currently the cheapest of them all. As per data available on Blockworks and Yahoo Finance, BRRR is currently trading at around $13.

The BRRR fund has waivered any fees for the first three months of trading, after which the fee will increase to 0.25%. BRRR presently commands around $520,000 in AUM.

This places BRRR amongst the likes of Ark/21 Shares Bitcoin Trust (ARKB) which has fees of 0.21% but a much higher share price of $46, as well as Bitwise Bitcoin ETP (BITB) which has the lowest fees of 0.20%, and a current share price of around $25.

BlackRock ETF

It’ll be a while before we see who the true winners and losers are in the long run, especially when calculating capital inflow versus outflows. But, if there is any metric we can currently use to judge who came out on top so far, it would be trading volumes.

Naturally, Grayscale’s GBTC topped the charts with over $2.2bn in trading volume so far. Impressively, the iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) from BlackRock traded around $1bn, which is a solid feat considering the fund has just over $10m in AUM.

Perhaps the weakest performer of all is Hasdex (DEFI) with a trading volume of only $4m. At the time of writing the DEFI fund is valued at around $56 and a fee of 0.90%, making it one of the least competitive offerings on the market. Presently, DEFI commands less than 1% of the total market share.

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Eddie is a seasoned crypto writer and Bitcoin maximalist.