Displaying items by tag: bitcoin

As one of the leading asset managers, BlackRock, shook the market his week when, through regulatory filings, it disclosed that its income funds are invested in its own Bitcoin ETFs. The two important funds were the Strategic Income Opportunities Fund (BSIIX) and Strategic Global Bond Fund (MAWIX),  which acquired $3.56 million and $485,000 worth of iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) respectively. 

 

These investments are a minor part of the $37.4 billion and $776.4 million portfolios of BSIIX and MAWIX, respectively. As of May 24, the iShares Bitcoin Trust held about $19.61 billion in Bitcoin, which trails the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).  

 

Globally, spot Bitcoin ETFs hold over 1 million Bitcoin, valued at more than $68 billion, which is nearly 5.10% of Bitcoin's circulating supply of over 19.7 million BTC. Since their launch in January, over 600 investment firms, including major institutions like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo, have invested in spot Bitcoin ETFs, with Millennium Management being the largest accumulator at $1.9 billion.


Finsum: While this fund cannibalism isn’t new, it’s definitely something to be aware of when looking at income funds. 

Published in Wealth Management
Sunday, 05 May 2024 07:02

Flat Rates Cause Bitcoin Free Fall

Bitcoin faced a nearly 6% downturn on Wednesday, marking its weakest monthly performance since late 2022, as investors divested from cryptocurrencies prior to the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision. The primary cryptocurrency globally witnessed a drop of nearly 16% in April, as investors cashed out gains from a scorching rally that propelled prices above $70,000.

 

Bitcoin saw a decline of up to 5.6%, hitting its lowest point since late February, hovering at $57,001, while ether saw more modest losses, down 3.6% at $2,857, also reaching its lowest level since February.  Despite being down 22% from March's peak, bitcoin remains up 35% this year and has doubled in value since this time last year, largely due to significant capital inflows into newly established exchange-traded funds since January. 

 

Crypto-related stocks, including Coinbase, Riot, and Marathon Digital, dipped in U.S. premarket trading, reflecting broader market uncertainties surrounding the Federal Open Market Committee's stance on interest rates.


Finsum: The original link between bitcoin and inflation/interest rates has deteriorated, but regulation will clear up the future for cryptocurrency. 

Published in Wealth Management

Grayscale has been a pioneer in terms of bringing crypto investments to a wider group of investors with the launch of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) in 2016. For some time, it was the primary vehicle to get exposure to the asset through traditional means. However, the SEC’s approval of bitcoin ETFs means that the landscape is more competitive, with offerings from leading asset managers at lower costs. 

Now, Grayscale is launching a spinoff version of GBTC, which will have a much lower fee of 0.15% vs. 1.5% for GBTC. The new ETF, Grayscale Bitcoin Mini Trust (BTC), will have the lowest fee among all spot bitcoin ETFs. At launch, about 10% of GBTC’s assets will be moved to BTC, which means GBTC shareholders can convert holdings into BTC without having to pay capital gains taxes. 

With the launch of several spot bitcoin ETFs, there were net outflows from GBTC despite bitcoin’s impressive gains over the past few months. Previously, gains in bitcoin would coincide with a surge in inflows into GBTC. 

The success of new bitcoin ETFs from Blackrock, Fidelity, Bitwise, and Ark also shows that there is strong demand for low-cost ETFs in the crypto space. In contrast, GBTC was structured more like a mutual fund. 


Finsum: Grayscale is launching a spinoff version of its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which will come with significantly lower costs as the asset manager looks to compete with the launch of several bitcoin ETFs.

Published in Alternatives

According to Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, there is only a 25% chance that the SEC approves a spot ethereum ETF. He points to the lack of SEC engagement on the topic and the absence of any positive signs or chatter on the subject, which is a departure from the lead-up to bitcoin’s approval. Balchunas believes this lack of engagement is ‘tactical’ rather than ‘procrastination’. 

The crux of the issue is how ethereum should be classified. There are indications that the SEC is leaning towards treating it like a security based on subpoenas to crypto companies that have interacted with the Ethereum Foundation. 

However, there are some dissenting voices who are more optimistic about approval. Craig Salm, Grayscale’s Chief Legal Officer, says the SEC’s reticence is due to most issues already being cleared up during the bitcoin ETF approval process. He believes both ETFs are nearly identical, except for the underlying asset. He also pointed to the approval of an ethereum futures ETF and its classification as a commodity future as a favorable sign. 

Currently, several asset managers have filed for approval for an ethereum ETF, including Blackrock, VanEck, ARK 21Shares, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale, Franklin Templeton, and Hashdex. The most immediate deadline is May 23 for VanEck.


Finsum: Over the next couple of months, the SEC will decide on an ethereum ETF. Reading the tea leaves, Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas is not optimistic that it will be approved. 

Published in Alternatives
Thursday, 28 March 2024 06:21

Blackrock: Bitcoin A Good Portfolio Diversifier

Robert Mitchnick, Blackrock’s digital asset lead, believes that bitcoin is more like ‘digital gold’ rather than a ‘risk-on’ asset, despite its strong correlation to equities in recent years. Throughout bitcoin’s existence, there has been a constant debate about its true nature. Some argue that bitcoin is like gold given that there is a fixed supply, which means that it should provide protection against inflation. 

While this may be true in theory, in reality, bitcoin has largely moved in the same direction as equities, which undermines the argument that it offers diversification. In 2022, bitcoin tumbled as the world dealt with the highest levels of inflation in decades. Notably, equities were also down 25% in 2022. In the following year, as equity markets made new highs, bitcoin also followed and made new highs as well. 

Despite this relationship, Mitchnik believes that historically, bitcoin has demonstrated very little correlation to stocks. He attributes the recent rally to excitement around the launch of bitcoin ETFs in the US. In terms of allocation, he recommends between 1 and 3% for investors to provide diversification and differentiated returns. The argument about bitcoin’s nature is germane for investors who want to understand whether it will make their portfolio more risky or more diversified. 


Finsum: There are two camps when it comes to bitcoin. One sees bitcoin as an asset that is closely correlated to equities; while the other believes that bitcoin is more like gold and can help diversify portfolios.

Published in Alternatives
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