Bitcoin hits $50,000 as BlackRock leads best ETF launch in 30 years

Bitcoin hits $50,000 as BlackRock leads best ETF launch in 30 years
Larry Fink's firm, BlackRock, has experienced the most successful ETF launch of all time with its Bitcoin ETF.
  • Bitcoin reached $50,000 today.
  • BlackRock and Fidelity’s Bitcoin ETFs garnered more assets in their first month than any other ETF ever has.

Bitcoin’s price reached $50,000 today, and while analysts point to multiple reasons for the rise — beneficial macroeconomic conditions, the upcoming halving — it’s impossible to ignore the role BlackRock and Fidelity have played.

Unambiguously, no exchange-traded fund has ever had a launch as successful as BlackRock and Fidelity’s Bitcoin ETFs.

BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF had almost $4.2 billion in assets as of February 9, while Fidelity’s amassed almost $3.5 billion. These numbers puts both investment vehicles at the top of the ETF podium for assets accumulated after one month on the market, according to Bloomberg Intelligence ETF expert Eric Balchunas.

Bitcoin price

Out of 5,535 launches in 30 years, “IBIT and FBTC are in league of their own with over $3 billion each,” Balchunas said, referring to BlackRock and Fidelity’s ETFs by their tickers.

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BlackRock and Fidelity’s ETFs saw approximately $694 million and $523 million in inflows, respectively, last week alone, according to a CoinShares report — accounting for 72% of all ETF inflows.

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust ETF, meanwhile, processed $414 million in outflows. The fund has seen almost $6.4 billion in outflows since it converted into an ETF on January 11.

“The outflows from incumbents have slowed significantly, but the potential sale of the Genesis holdings of $1.6 billion could prompt further outflows in the coming months,” CoinShares said.

Crypto lending firm Genesis is set to unload 36 million GBTC shares as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

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Unprecedented growth

Prior to the Bitcoin ETFs, BlackRock’s Climate Conscious fund held the record for most successful ETF launch — the ETF garnered over $2.2 billion in its first month, August 2023. Another record-breaking climate-oriented fund, Deutsche Bank’s USCA, launched in April of that year and brought in $2 billion.

And the ETF for gold, launched in 2004, accumulated $1.2 billion in its first month.

Balchunas noted that BlackRock and Fidelity’s Bitcoin ETFs were also unusual in that they processed inflows every single day in the month after they launched.

The climate-oriented ETFs launched by BlackRock and Deutsche Bank last year, however, only saw inflows on 15% and 5% of their trading days, respectively. Balchunas attributed those figures to one investor bringing the entirety of the assets under management to the ETF.

Balchunas noted that the consistent daily inflows into BlackRock and Fidelity’s Bitcoin ETFs indicated “literally unparalleled” organic growth.

Even the Bitcoin ETFs issued by ARK Invest and Bitwise made the list of most successful launches. Balchunas placed ARK’s fund 22nd best of all time, while Bitwise was 27th. ARK’s ETF closed last week with over $1 billion in assets; Bitwise with $857 million.

Balchunas’ analysis excluded Grayscale, as the fund already existed prior to its conversion into an ETF.

Tom Carreras is a markets correspondent at DL News. Got a tip about Bitcoin, ETFs, and markets? Reach out at tcarreras@dlnews.com