Bitcoin ETF fever returns: ‘Biggest’ inflow to ProShares’ BITO in a year

Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) fervor is back with a raft of new applications and an increase in capital inflows from institutional investors.

On June 26, a surge of inflows to the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) — a Bitcoin futures fund — was observed by Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.

The fund had its largest weekly inflow in a year at $65.3 million with its assets topping $1 billion.

BITO was the first BTC-linked ETF in the United States and is one of the most popular among institutional investors.

Balchunas claimed BITO “pretty much has tracked Bitcoin perfectly,” lagging spot prices by 1.05% annually and has a fee of 0.95%.

The BITO fund has made a 59.6% gain since the start of 2023 according to ProShares. There’s been an uptick in Bitcoin derivatives interest across the board since BlackRock filed for its own Bitcoin ETF on June 15.

According to the Deribit crypto options exchange, Bitcoin futures open interest (OI) has surged since last week. It is currently $319 million as of June 25, up around 30% from the same period last week.

OI is a measure of the total number of outstanding futures contracts that have not been settled.

BTC futures OI over the past month. Source: Deribit

The resurgence in ETF trading and the resultant BTC price pump has also been good news for the world’s largest crypto asset manager, Grayscale. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which has been trading at a massive discount to spot BTC prices for months, is heading in the right direction as that gap diminishes.

According to Coinglass, the Grayscale premium, also known as its discount, is -31.2%. It fell as low as -49% in December.

Related: Volatility Shares Trust aims for listing of leveraged Bitcoin futures ETF

It remains unclear if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, but the race is now on as a new wave of filings has followed BlackRock’s.

WisdomTree, for the third time, filed with the SEC to create a spot Bitcoin ETF, just hours later Invesco renewed its application for a similar product.

On June 25, ETF Store President Nate Geraci tweeted his list of ETF issuers that he “would keep an eye on” as he believes they will file or refile for a spot Bitcoin ETF based on past filings. Geraci named First Trust, VanEck, Global X, Fidelity, and what he called the “dark horse,” Schwab.

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