Meet The Parents: Who Are the ETF Big Boys Taking Over Bitcoin?

Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) fever has reached a crescendo on the day of the deadline for amendments set by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But who are the big boys vying for a commanding position in the nascent digital asset market? 

December 29 is the final day for filing amendments to spot Bitcoin ETFs as set by the SEC. A new wave of people and corporations will be owning and promoting BTC in 2024, but is that all good? 

Bitcoin ETF Fever Heats Up 

On December 28, investor “Fred Krueger” posted a “meet the parents” look into the new buyers of the world’s largest cryptocurrency. “Thank you for your effort plebs, we’ll take it from here,” he quipped.  

BlackRock is the big daddy of them all and the largest asset manager in the world. Its total assets under management are $10 trillion, which is about half of the US GDP and a third of its epic national debt

Fidelity is also a major player, with $4 trillion in AUM for the 90-year-old institution. Moreover, its platform serves 3,700 wealth management firms and intends to do its own BTC custody. 

With just over $1.5 trillion in AUM, Franklin Templeton is the third “absolute giant” in the pack, he noted. The firm specializes in mutual funds, with 455 of them on offer.

The investor considers Van Eck and Wisdom Tree to be middle-tier, with $80 billion and $72 billion in AUM, respectively.

Read more: How To Prepare for a Bitcoin ETF: A Step-by-Step Approach 

Crypto native ETF applicants include NYDIG, Galaxy, ARK, Bitwise, and Valkyrie. These firms have much lower AUM but are very familiar with the crypto industry. Bitwise has already launched an advertising campaign using actor Jonathan Goldsmith. 

Smaller players include Hashdex and Pando, which are big in South America and Switzerland. Additionally, Hashdex released its latest Bitcoin advertisement on December 28:

“Finally, don’t forget this is potentially just the first wave,” said the investor. He noted that Vanguard, Charles Schwab, and Proshares may all get in the mix.

“This is just the opening salvo. Traditional investors are going to really get a taste of what owning a true Bitcoin proxy is.”

GrayScale was not mentioned as it is an already established Bitcoin fund provider. However, it is trying to get its GBTC product converted into a spot ETF at the same time as its competitors are potentially approved. 

Latest ETF News 

One of the first companies to file an amendment on deadline day was Ark Invest. ETF analyst Eric Balchunas commented that the amendment was centered around authorized participants, but it was unclear what was changed. 

Fellow analyst James Seyffart said that more were likely to follow today as final preparations are made. 

MV Capital partner Tom Dunleavy said that the Bitcoin ETF is “NOT a sell-the-news event,” adding that “Max inflows are coming.”

He cited several reasons, including huge marketing campaigns, crypto in pension funds, and regulatory de-risking, which makes the asset class more accessible to institutions

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