June 17, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA

Crypto institutions devour billions in Bitcoin ETFs and accumulate 250,000 BTC

The tides are turning in the cryptocurrency world, with institutional investors making a big splash in Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), while retail investors seem content to stay on the sidelines. A recent report from IntotheBlock paints a picture of a two-tiered market, where hedge funds and even pensions are accumulating Bitcoin through ETFs, but the average investor remains cautious.

Institutional investors set sail with Bitcoin ETFs

The launch of Bitcoin ETFs on the New York Stock Exchange in early 2024 was a watershed moment, finally opening the floodgates for institutional money to enter the cryptocurrency market. This has been a boon for Bitcoin whales (investors with significant holdings) who have been acquiring large amounts of the cryptocurrency through these new financial vehicles.

IntotheBlock data shows that these whales have collectively amassed a 250,000 additional Bitcoins, bring their coffers to levels last seen before the FTX collapse in 2023.

Fountain: In the block

Hedge funds, long expected to be the driving force behind institutional adoption, have lived up to expectations. Financial giants like Millennium Management have reportedly invested billions in Bitcoin ETFs, indicating their confidence in the future of the cryptocurrency. Public pensions are also coming into play, with the state of Wisconsin making waves with a $160 million investment in Bitcoin ETFs.

US ETF Frenzy Fades, But Ride Continues

While the initial reception to US Bitcoin ETFs was euphoric, with record inflows in January driving the entire cryptocurrency market higher, the party appears to be slowing down. Experts believe the initial surge may have been driven by a limited number of enthusiastic institutional adopters. Capital inflows have slowed in recent weeks, suggesting a wait-and-see stance on the part of some investors.

BTCUSD is trading today at $67,032. Chart: TradingView

Across the Pacific, the recent Bitcoin ETF launch in Hong Kong received a muted response. The first day of trading recorded a volume of just $12.7 million, a far cry from the $4.6 billion recorded by US ETFs in their debut. This lukewarm reception suggests that the Asian market may not be so eager to embrace cryptocurrencies just yet.

Retail investors drop anchor, unconvinced by the hype

Adding to this complex story is another layer: the apparent lack of enthusiasm among retail investors. The report highlights a significant decline in the creation of new Bitcoin addresses, a metric often used to measure retail participation. This suggests that many individual investors are staying on the sidelines, unconvinced by the recent surge or wary of the volatility associated with cryptocurrencies.

The reasons for this hesitation could be multiple. The FTX collapse may have left some investors with a sour taste in their mouths, and the broader market correction in early 2024 could be prompting caution. Additionally, the complexities of ETFs, coupled with the newness of cryptocurrency investing for some, could be creating a wait-and-see attitude among retail investors.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $67,032, rose 0.7% in the last 24 hours and maintained an impressive 11.0% price increase in the last week, Coingecko data shows.

Featured image from Pexels, chart from TradingView

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