Home / News / Crypto / ETF / BlackRock Flips Grayscale, Overtakes GBTC as 421 firms Disclose IBIT Holdings
6 min read

BlackRock Flips Grayscale, Overtakes GBTC as 421 firms Disclose IBIT Holdings

Published May 1, 2024 2:32 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Published May 1, 2024 2:32 PM

Key Takeaways

  • BlackRock’s IBIT closed the gap with Grayscale’s GBTC.
  • Grayscale has seen about $17 billion in outflows since the approval of the Spot ETF.
  • However, ETFs still play a pivotal role in the ranking of Bitcoin holdings.

After a long run-up, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) has surpassed Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) in total Bitcoin holdings. This marks a significant development, potentially indicating a changing preference among institutional investors.

Buying activity for IBIT has surged amid bullish sentiment for Bitcoin and the broader crypto market. And this reflects the growing influence of Bitcoin ETFs in the crypto market.

BlackRock’s IBIT Tops Grayscale’s GBTC

According to Odaily , BlackRock’s IBIT has surpassed Grayscale’s GBTC in Bitcoin holdings. Current data  shows IBIT holding 288,670 Bitcoins, slightly more than GBTC’s 287,450 Bitcoins.

As of Wednesday morning, IBIT’s Bitcoin holdings are valued at nearly $20 billion, based on its product page . GBTC’s holdings  amount to $19.7 billion, following $105 million in outflows on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

This shift indicates a changing landscape in institutional Bitcoin investments, with an increasing number of investors preferring BlackRock’s IBIT over Grayscale’s GBTC. It’s relevant to underline that these figures are dynamic, as both institutions continuously manage their Bitcoin portfolios. The competition between these two major players is likely to persist, with their holdings reflecting the evolving preferences of institutional investors.

Notably, in the first quarter, BlackRock incorporated its Bitcoin ETF into its income and bond-focused funds. The Strategic Income Opportunities Fund (BSIIX ) holds over $3.5 million worth of IBIT, while the Strategic Global Bond Fund (MAWIX ) holds $485,000 worth of IBIT. This move underscores BlackRock’s growing emphasis on Bitcoin within its investment strategies.

421 Firms Invested In IBIT

To reflect the growing interest in BlackRock’s product is the recent disclosure  from 421 institutional investors about holding investments in IBIT. In fact, according to Fintel figures , iShares Bitcoin Trust has 421 institutional owners and shareholders who have filed 13D/G or 13F forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

These institutions collectively hold 80,341,687 shares. The largest shareholders include Millennium Management  LLC, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC, Aristeia Capital LLC, Boothbay Fund Management LLC, Bracebridge Capital LLC, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Graham Capital Management LP, CRCM LP, Pine Ridge Advisers LLC, and Rubric Capital Management LP.

iShares Bitcoin Trust chart
iShares Bitcoin Trust chart. l Source: Fintel

The institutional ownership structure of iShares Bitcoin Trust reveals current positions held by various institutions and funds and recent changes in position sizes. A Schedule 13D filing indicates that the investor holds – or held – more than 5% of the company and intends (or intended) to influence its business strategy actively. On the other hand, Schedule 13G filing indicates a passive investment of over 5%.

The most recent IBIT share price  is $38.98 per share, up from $26.63 on January 11, 2024. This represents a 46% increase over that period.

IBIT’s Zero Flows

In terms of market capitalization, GBTC is valued at $17.5b, whereas IBIT’s market cap stands at $16.18b at press time. Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas predicted that the ‘flippening ‘ would have occured by the end of April but the prophecy became true in late May.

IBIT experienced 5 consecutive days of zero flows between April 24 and April 30. ETFs operate through something called creation units. Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart highlights  that mismatches in supply and demand can be large enough to influence these creation units, leading to zero flows. 

According  to Farside Investors, GBTC faced challenges of outflows in April, totaling around $17.3b since the spot ETF was approved, marking it the only fund with a negative total net flow during the month. Conversely, IBIT showed more stability with over $15.4b inflows.

Meanwhile, Grayscale has reportedly  transferred 4011 BTC to Coinbase, valued at approximately $245m in the latest development. This transaction coincided with a dip in Bitcoin’s price under the $60k level. 

Parth Chaturvedi, who leads investments at CoinSwitch Ventures, told CCN that with US inflation exceeding expectations, investors are adjusting their portfolios to accommodate the anticipation of prolonged periods of higher interest rates.

The ETFs Strength

Recently, buying activity for IBIT has surged amid bullish sentiment for Bitcoin and the broader crypto market. This optimism was fueled by the approval of Ether (ETH) ETFs and renewed support for cryptocurrencies among US political parties.

Previously, IBIT  experienced low or zero inflows before May 15 and even recorded its first-ever day of outflows in April, contributing to bearish sentiment. However, the recent developments have reversed this trend.

Last week, US-listed spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds reached a new record , holding over 850,000 BTC. This surpassed the previous high of 845,000 BTC from early April. Spot Bitcoin ETFs now hold nearly 5% of Bitcoin’s total supply of 21 million coins. US Spot BTC ETFs collectively hold approximately 842,000 BTC, valued at around $57.2 billion. This accounts for 4.3% of the current BTC supply.

Globally, BTC ETF issuers hold about 1,002,343 BTC, as noted by MicroStrategy co-founder and former CEO Michael Saylor in a post  on X. This underscores the growing influence of Bitcoin ETFs in the cryptocurrency market.

Was this Article helpful? Yes No