First North American bitcoin ETF soars past $1 billion under management as interest in crypto booms

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US regulators are yet to approve bitcoin ETFs.

  • North America’s first bitcoin ETF has soared past the $1 billion assets under management mark.
  • The Purpose bitcoin ETF, ticker BTCC, is reaping rewards from being the first to launch in Canada.
  • US regulators are yet to approve an ETF, but major firms are vying to be the first to launch.
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The first bitcoin ETF in North America has soared past $1 billion in assets under management after just two months in operation, as the crypto boom sends potential buyers piling into the innovative product.

Canada’s Purpose bitcoin exchange-traded fund, with the ticker BTCC, had $1.1 billion (C$1.38 billion) under management as of Tuesday, according to its website.

Its bitcoin holdings have soared over the last month from 13,128.56 on March 12 to 17,493.55 on April 13, crossing $1 billion in value this week. Over that time, the price of bitcoin has risen sharply to hit an all-time high of more than $64,000 on Wednesday.

Regulated financial products such as the Purpose bitcoin ETF have become a key way for investors to access the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, leading to a surge in interest.

Canada became the first major economy to approve a bitcoin ETF in March, with Purpose’s product first to launch. It was an instant success, with more than $165 million in trading volume on the first day.

US regulators are yet to approve a bitcoin ETF and have been historically reluctant to do so. But a number of firms – including Fidelity, VanEck, and most recently Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital – are vying to be the first to launch.

Michael Sonnenshein, chief executive of Grayscale, which runs the biggest bitcoin fund in the world, told Insider in March he thinks it’s a “matter of when, not if” US regulators give the green light.

Grayscale said earlier in April it is 100% committed to converting its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which had $40.5 billion under management on Tuesday, into an ETF.

Growing interest from major institutions has been a key factor in the latest rally in bitcoin, which has more than doubled in 2021. The likes of JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Mastercard and Tesla are now getting involved with cryptocurrencies.

Crypto exchange Coinbase’s direct listing on the Nasdaq, due Wednesday, is the latest sign of maturity in the bitcoin market, with talk of a $100 billion valuation.

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Trading of first bitcoin ETF slows in Canada after a roaring debut for the groundbreaking fund

A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is on display in front of the Bitcoin course's graph
A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is on display in front of the Bitcoin course’s graph

  • The Purpose Bitcoin ETF during its first two days of trading saw nearly $400 million of shares change hands. 
  • But on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported the amount slumped to just $17 million. 
  • Buzz has also quieted down around Evolve Fund Group’s Bitcoin ETF, which launched a day after BTCC. 
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Just a few weeks after the first exchange-traded fund in North America made a roaring debut, the excitement looks to be waning. 

The Purpose Bitcoin ETF, which trades under the ticker BTCC, on Tuesday saw $17 million shares change hands, according to Bloomberg. That is compared to its first two days of trading, which saw $400 million of shares traded. 

In total, the long-awaited ETF has attracted over $500 million in assets. However, the recent steep decline may suggest the fluctuating levels of interest in bitcoin, which many view as a hedge against inflation.

“The initial surge in interest was evidence of some combination of pent-up demand, investors switching from other means of getting bitcoin exposure, and the fact that bitcoin’s price was notching new highs as the Purpose ETF began trading,” Ben Johnson, Morningstar’s global director of ETF research, told Bloomberg. “Longer term, I expect volumes will be correlated with bitcoin’s price.”

Buzz has quieted down around as well for Evolve Fund Group’s Bitcoin ETF (ticker EBIT), which launched a day after BTCC. Around $3 million shares traded on Tuesday, far less than the $15 million right after its release, according to Bloomberg.

Bitcoin had an epic run in February, touching the $1 trillion market capitalization mark and breaching the $58,000-level.

“This is a great time to be in crypto. We are seeing genuine adoption of this amazing technology, said Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino. “If you look back at 2017 the capacity of the network was nowhere near what it is now.”

In the US, CBOE Global Markets filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday seeking approval to list shares of VanEck’s bitcoin ETF. It is among the latest attempt to launch a bitcoin ETF in the US.

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