News - Bitcoin ETFs: billions of inflows only through hedge fund arbitrage?

By Luc Vesters

Bitcoin ETFs: billions of inflows only through hedge fund arbitrage?

No sign of long-term buy & hold - according to Raoul Pal, CEO of Real Vision, about two-thirds of net inflows into U.S. Bitcoin Spot ETFs could come from arbitrage trades by large hedge funds.

"If true, it shows that the vast majority of ETF flows come from arbitrage traders and that retail investors are not yet the main driver," Pal wrote in a recent Twitter post. He referenced new data from crypto analyst and MV Capital partner Tom Dunleavy. This shows that the 80 largest Bitcoin ETF holders are hedge funds with capital from a variety of private and institutional investors.

Yesterday, Tuesday, Bitcoin ETFs recorded net outflows of just under USD 65 million for the first time in 19 positive days. The 80 companies hold a total of about USD 10.26 billion worth of Bitcoin ETF shares, representing about two-thirds of the USD 15.42 billion in net inflows since the ETF was approved by the SEC on Jan. 11.

The largest investor Millennium Management alone had Bitcoin ETF shares worth an impressive USD 1.94 billion. The ETF shares came from several issuers: Bitwise, Grayscale, Fidelity, BlackRock and ARK21Shares. Arbitrage trading is about profitably exploiting differences between the net asset value of the Bitcoin ETF and the price of Bitcoin, the underlying asset.

Pal's claim has also been criticized: "Recent inflows could be due to base trading, but overall they account for less than 15 percent of total ETF flows," explained crypto trader Joseph B.

Together, U.S. Bitcoin ETFs already have 4.46 percent of the total amount of BTC in circulation, according to Dune. This equates to 880,000 Bitcoin worth about US$59 billion.

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