All posts

Spot Bitcoin ETFs - a quick guide

Adam Jakobsen
March 8, 2024
2 minutes

Introduction to spot Bitcoin ETFs
In the world of cryptocurrency, spot Bitcoin ETFs has emerged as a significant player. Big institutions and investors increasingly want to buy into spot Bitcoin ETFs instead of buying Bitcoin themselves - a major reason as to why Bitcoin has been rising in value. This article provides an in-depth look at what Spot Bitcoin ETFs are, how they compare to Bitcoin futures ETFs, their advantages and disadvantages, their impact on Bitcoin’s price, and how they’re expanding the market.

Explore our unique NBX Visa credit card with Bitcoin cashback.

What is a Spot Bitcoin ETF?
A Spot Bitcoin ETF is an investment fund that tracks the price of Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin futures ETFs, which invest in derivatives contracts based on Bitcoin prices, a spot Bitcoin ETF invests directly in Bitcoin. This direct investment means the ETF’s value is closely tied to the price of Bitcoin and you can get exposure to Bitcoin through your regular broker. Due to the fact that many regular brokers now offer these spot Bitcoin ETFs, the barrier of entry has been drastically reduced for potential investors and opened up Bitcoin to the major capital markets of the world. We have mentioned the upcoming spot Bitcoin ETFs multiple times, both last year and this year as we anticipated the usefulness of them.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs vs Future Bitcoin ETFs
Spot and futures Bitcoin ETFs offer different ways to invest in Bitcoin. While a spot Bitcoin ETF holds actual Bitcoin, a futures Bitcoin ETF invests in Bitcoin futures contracts. These contracts allow investors to speculate on future Bitcoin price movements without owning the cryptocurrency. The reason why the market has been particularly excited about the spot ETFs is the fact that a spot ETF actually has to hold Bitcoin to reflect the ever-moving price of Bitcoin. That means if there is a demand for the ETFs, the providers has to acquire Bitcoin to meet the demand.

Bitcoin spot ETFs come with several advantages
Regulated and accessible investment opportunities in Bitcoin while it also contributes to legitimize Bitcoin in the world of finance.
Exposure to Bitcoin’s price fluctuations without handling cryptocurrencies.
For bigger institutions, acquiring a share in an ETF means much less regulatory and compliance efforts.

However, they also have some disadvantages
You don’t own actual Bitcoin when investing in a Bitcoin ETF.
Management fees and operational costs can reduce net returns.
Bitcoin ETFs are limited to the stock market’s operational hours. Should the cryptocurrency market experience a correction, say over a weekend, you will not be able to take any action until the opening bell rings on monday.

Current Bitcoin ETFs
As of early 2024, several Bitcoin spot ETFs are trading in the US, including the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB), the iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT), and the Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCO).

Impact on Bitcoin Price
The approval and trading of spot Bitcoin ETFs have influenced Bitcoin’s price in a significant way. After the ETFs started trading, Bitcoin’s price experienced a pullback, confirming a sell-the-news-style event and people being able to realize gains in GBTC as it converted from a trust to an ETF. We wrote about the GBTC-intricacy earlier this year. Despite this, the collective assets managed by the eleven spot Bitcoin ETFs have now exceeded $50 billion, thus resulting in a significant capital inflow into Bitcoin. The ETFs have been buying Bitcoin at a much higher pace than what miners can produce, and spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US now "hodls" about 4% of the circulating supply of BTC.

Market Expansion
Spot Bitcoin ETFs are expected to keep increasing the overall liquidity in the cryptocurrency market. Traditional investors seemingly find it more convenient to invest in Bitcoin through these spot ETFs, which has lead to increased trading volumes and a more liquid market. The introduction of Bitcoin ETFs has contributed to usher in a wave of new investors and a heightened level of mainstream acceptance for crypto.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs represent a significant development in the cryptocurrency investment landscape. Despite some challenges, they offer a promising avenue for investors looking to tap into the potential of Bitcoin.

For most crypto enthusiasts, the belief is that the spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US could not have been launched at a better time in history as it coincides perfectly with the upcoming Bitcoin halving.

This text is intended to inform and is not an investment recommendation.

Best regards,
Adam Jakobsen.

Adam Jakobsen
March 8, 2024
2 minutes
Cookie Consent

By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.