Bitwise Becomes First Spot Bitcoin ETF Provider to Provide Wallet Address

The move drew applause from industry experts.

AccessTimeIconJan 24, 2024 at 10:43 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 8:26 p.m. UTC

Crypto asset manager Bitwise on Wednesday became the first of the ten spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers to share its digital wallet address with the public.

The San Francisco-based firm tweeted a screenshot showing the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF's (BITB) bitcoin address along with holdings (11,858 bitcoin) as of January 23. "Anyone can now verify the fund’s holdings and flows directly on the blockchain," said the company.

“Onchain transparency is core to bitcoin’s ethos,” Bitwise continued. “We’re proud to walk the walk with BITB. Publishing on-chain addresses is a first step toward increasing public transparency As infrastructure evolves, we hope to do more, such as working with firms like Hoeski to provide real-time cryptographic attestations.”

Bitcoin, and with that the whole crypto ecosystem, was designed with the goal of an unprecedented level of transparency, which is why many participants in the industry often demand detailed insights into the financials behind most products and services, including the newly launched ETFs.

Along with the spot bitcoin ETFs came concerns from at least a few that the tradfi industry might do to bitcoin what it's done for other assets – use fancy packaging and derivatives to transform once wholesome products into something unrecognizable. The most recent example of note would be the mortgage backed security bubble that led to the global financial crisis 15 years ago.

It remains to be seen what lies ahead for bitcoin, but industry experts for now are applauding the move by Bitwise.

"[An] important first step toward onchain accounting,” prominent Silicon Valley investor and former chief technology officer at Coinbase Balaji Srinivasan wrote.

"Love this from Bitwise," said Nate Geraci, president of investment advisory firm ETF Store. "Transparency of ETF wrapper plus onchain transparency. Another example of tradfi-defi bridge building."

For its part, Arkham Intelligence earlier this week had already identified bitcoin wallet addresses from Bitwise, BlackRock, Fidelity and Franklin Templeton. Earlier today, the company also identified wallet addresses for VanEck and WisdomTree.

Not including any flows today, Bitwise holds 11,858 bitcoins worth roughly $474 million at the current bitcoin price just under $40,000. The asset manager is the most successful crypto-native ETF issuer so far with $518 billion of inflows in the past eight days. Only spot ETFs from BlackRock and Fidelity have seen more inflows, roughly $1.8 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Helene Braun

Helene is a New York-based reporter covering Wall Street, the rise of the spot bitcoin ETFs and crypto exchanges. She is also the co-host of CoinDesk's Markets Daily show. Helene is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News, YahooFinance and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.