Grayscale GBTC Selling Accelerates but Bitcoin ETF Inflows Remain Positive, Led by BlackRock

The key driver behind the selling could potentially be crypto lender Genesis, which last month received bankruptcy court approval to sell 35 million GBTC shares.

AccessTimeIconMar 1, 2024 at 5:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:29 p.m. UTC
  • Grayscale's GBTC saw nearly $600 million in outflows Thursday, its largest single-day redemption since Jan. 22, but inflows into other spot bitcoin ETFs offset the sales.
  • BlackRock's IBIT had another strong day and surpassed $10 billion assets under management.

Outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) spiked Thursday, but inflows into the other nine U.S.-listed spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds were more than enough to offset the GBTC sales.

Data compiled by BitMEX Research shows that GBTC saw $599 million of outflows, almost triple of Wednesday's redemption and the largest single-day outflow since January 22. Confirming those numbers, Arkham Intelligence showed Grayscale moving nearly 10,000 bitcoin (BTC) to crypto exchange Coinbase Prime (presumably to be sold) as markets opened in the U.S. on Friday morning.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) transferred nearly 10,000 bitcoin to Coinbase Thursday (Arkham Intelligence)
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) transferred nearly 10,000 bitcoin to Coinbase Thursday (Arkham Intelligence)

The large outflow could perhaps indicate that crypto lender Genesis started or ramped up the pace of unloading its GBTC holdings, capitalizing on bitcoin's rally. Genesis received bankruptcy court approval on Feb. 14 to sell 35 million GBTC shares – then worth $1.3 billion, now roughly $1.9 billion – but outflows from GBTC were muted over the past two weeks until Thursday's spike.

Thursday's GBTC exit was reminiscent of mid-January, when the bankruptcy estate of collapsed crypto exchange FTX sold roughly $1 billion worth of shares.

Grayscale's GBTC operated as a closed-end fund without redemptions until its conversion to a spot ETF this January. Its shares traded at a significant discount to net asset value during the crypto bear market in the last two years, but that discount vanished in the run-up and finally the conversion to the ETF.

BlackRock's bitcoin ETF surpasses $10 billion in AUM

Inflows into the other U.S.-listed spot bitcoin ETFs, however, offset the big Grayscale outflows Thursday. The net $92 million of inflows, though, was the lowest in a week, per BitMEX Research.

BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin ETF (IBIT) recorded another massive session of inflows, raking in $604 million of fresh funds and adding more than 9,700 bitcoin. This followed a record-breaking Wednesday.. The fund has now surpassed $10 billion in assets under management and holds over 161,000 bitcoin only seven weeks after its debut.

Buying pressure through spot bitcoin ETF demand has been one of the key narratives over the past weeks as BTC's price rallied past $60,000 for the first time since Nov. 2021. Bitcoin gained 44% in February, its best month since Dec. 2020, slightly outperforming the broad-market CoinDesk 20 Index's (CD20) 41% advance.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.