Bitcoin ETFs (Ex-GBTC) Now Hold More BTC Than MicroStrategy

The bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) through Wednesday held a combined 192,255 bitcoin, more than 2,000 above that of MicroStrategy, the largest publicly traded holder of the cryptocurrency.

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2024 at 5:19 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 8, 2024 at 5:21 p.m. UTC
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  • The new spot bitcoin ETFs, excluding Grayscale's GBTC, now hold more bitcoin than MicroStrategy.
  • "Concentration of coins held by these entities is not a risk to the Bitcoin Network," said one analyst.
  • This excludes GBTC, which had been an operating fund long before it converted into an ETF.

The recently launched spot bitcoin ETFs, excluding Grayscale's GBTC, added nearly another 5,000 tokens to their holdings Wednesday, and now at more than 192,000 BTC, own more of the crypto than MicroStrategy (MSTR), whose total stood at 190,000 as of the end of January.

The funds have only been on the market for less than one month but have already attracted billions of dollars from investors looking to gain exposure to bitcoin without having to buy and store it directly. On Wednesday alone, there were over $1 billion in inflows into the ETFs, according to data from Bloomberg Intelligence

These numbers exclude one of the spot ETFs, Grayscale's GBTC, which also began trading as a spot product at the same time as the other funds. As an operating closed-end trust for years prior, GBTC began as a spot ETF already with roughly 630,000 bitcoin. Tokens have been exiting GBTC for the past month on profit taking or a search for lower fees, with the fund as of yesterday holding just over 470,000 bitcoin.

“Over time, we have seen bitcoin become an increasingly more distributed network in terms of the number of holders and their coins,” said Markus Levin, head of operations at California tech startup XY Labs and co-founder of XYO. “It could become an issue if too much BTC ends up becoming highly concentrated in any one country or company, but even with the likes of MicroStrategy and these ETFs, the concentration of coins held by these entities is not a risk to the Bitcoin Network.”

Only 21 million bitcoin can ever exist, according to the cryptocurrency’s code, which means that the ETF issuers (ex-GBTC) – which include asset management giants BlackRock, Fidelity and VanEck, to name a few – now have combined with MicroStrategy to hold roughly 1.8% of all the bitcoin that will ever be available. Add in GBTC's 470,000 in tokens, and the percentage rises to 4%.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.

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Helene Braun

Helene is a New York-based news reporter at CoinDesk, currently covering the criminal trial of infamous crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried. Helene is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program and has appeared on CBS News and Nasdaq TradeTalks. She holds BTC and ETH.


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