July 22, 2024

Record Bitcoin-ETF Outflow Buffets BlackRock, Fidelity Funds

(Bloomberg) — US spot-Bitcoin exchange-traded funds suffered their largest daily outflow as the digital token heads for its worst week since August 2023.

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Investors pulled a net $564 million from the batch of almost a dozen funds on Wednesday, the biggest drawdown since the products debuted in January. The prospect of higher-for-longer interest rates has hurt risky assets like crypto.

The ETFs from the likes of BlackRock Inc. and Fidelity Investments were earlier part of an historically successful launch for a new fund category. Money poured in, lifting Bitcoin to an all-time peak of almost $74,000 in March.

The group still has a net inflow of more than $11 billion to date but demand has slumped of late alongside a tightening of financial conditions in the US, where the Federal Reserve faces the challenge of overcoming sticky inflation.

“This is a snapshot in time,” said Caroline Bowler, chief executive officer of crypto exchange BTC Markets Pty. “There has been a retrenchment in Bitcoin and outflows from the ETFs, but the overall picture is healthy in terms of ETF demand in different geographies.”

Hong Kong this week listed its first ETFs investing directly in Bitcoin and Ether, but the development failed to lift the mood in crypto markets.

A net $191 million left the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund on Wednesday, the portfolio’s highest daily net outflow so far. BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust saw a $37 million drawdown, its first. Investors pulled $167 million from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the largest spot-Bitcoin ETF.

Bitcoin fell 23% from its last record on March 14 to a two-month low reached Wednesday. The original cryptocurrency rebounded on Thursday following three straight days of declines. It was trading near the $58,600 level at 9 a.m. New York time.

(Updates with Bitcoin price performance in final paragraph.)

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