BlackRock’s Bitcoin fund blows away another ETF record with ‘mind-boggling’ number of holders

BlackRock’s Bitcoin fund blows away another ETF record with ‘mind-boggling’ number of holders
The number of firms already buying shares of IBIT, the spot bitcoin ETF of Larry Fink's BlackRock, is simply "mind boggling," according to ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. Credit: Darren Joseph
  • More than 500 different financial firms have bought Bitcoin ETF shares since January.
  • Fund holders include hedge funds, investment advisors, private equity, and pension funds.

The Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds not only made record inflows — three months in, they have already pulled in investors of all stripes.

More than 500 different entities have disclosed holdings in Bitcoin ETFs, according to Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Eric Balchunas — more than 200 times the average of two to three holders for new ETFs.

“Mind boggling”

Bitcoin ETFs have seen tremendous demand since they launched on January 11 — and none so much as BlackRock’s fund.

BlackRock’s IBIT has accrued more than 414 holders, a “mind-boggling” number, Balchunas said. “Even having 20 holders as a newborn is [a big deal], highly rare,” Balchunas posted, referring to recently launched ETFs. BlackRock’s fund “blows away” previous records, the analyst added.

The fund’s holders are varied, Balchunas noted. They include hedge fund managers, investment advisors, private equity, pension funds, brokerages, banks, trusts, insurance companies, holding companies, and family offices.

Hedge fund managers held almost 69% of the fund’s shares, and investment advisers 22%.

“Normally you don’t see this long a list of holder types till years after launch and mega liquidity — which IBIT already has,” Balchunas said.

Global investment-management firm Millennium is the biggest ETF holder so far, with almost $786 million in BlackRock’s ETF, another $750 million into Fidelity’s, $188 million in Grayscale’s GBTC, and $41 million in both ARK Invest’s and Bitwise’s spot Bitcoin funds.

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But not every holder is buying out of conviction in Bitcoin. Balchunas singled out Pine Ridge Advisers, which owns roughly $205 million in Bitcoin through the various ETFs — about 23% of their total assets under management.

“Likely some kind of arbitrage trade though versus say an [registered investment advisor] putting 1/4 of grandma’s portfolio in Bitcoin,” Balchunas said.

Crypto market movers

  • Bitcoin is up 0.4% in the last 24 hours, trading for $65,100.
  • Ethereum slumped 1.3% in the same period, now at $2,940.

What we are reading

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

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