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Are ETF Outflows An Issue?


On Tuesday, the crypto market was off guard when Cathie Wood’s ARK 21Shares spot Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) experienced a significant outflow. This marked the first time since the introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States that one of the “Newborn Nine” surpassed the outflows of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). On April 2, ARKB saw outflows of $87.5 million, approximately 1,300 BTC, as reported by Farside Investors, while Grayscale recorded a daily outflow of $81.9 million.

This event marked a notable shift in the Bitcoin market dynamics, raising concerns and debates among investors and analysts alike. The core question that arises is whether such outflows indicate a bearish signal for Bitcoin’s price or if they are a natural part of the market’s ebb and flow.

Are ETF Outflows Beyond Grayscale Concerning?

Bloomberg’s ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas, offered an analytical perspective on the event, advocating for a broader view of ETF dynamics. In a series of comments on social media platform X, Balchunas downplayed the severity of the outflows.

“Seeing some of CT up in arms over ARKB having an outflow day, which really shows the greedy and short-sighted nature of some of the folks in this space tbh,” he remarked, suggesting that even the most reputable ETFs, like those offered by Vanguard, periodically experience outflows as part of their operational cycle.

Balchunas further elaborated on the significance of ARKB’s performance, stating, “ARKB has $2.8b in under 3 months on the market. And it’s only the 3rd biggest. I would have guessed 3rd place would be $500m at this point. The inflows have been that epic, and without the ETFs, btc is probably at like $30k.”

This comment highlights the instrumental role of ETFs in bolstering Bitcoin’s market price, suggesting that the recent outflows, while notable, represent a minor setback in the grand scheme.

The analyst also addressed the collective behavior of ETF investors, emphasizing that the recent downturn in Bitcoin’s price should not solely be attributed to ETF outflows. “The ‘ten’ are a team, and yesterday they saw net inflows as a team, yet btc went down like 6% = the selling (as usual) is coming from your fellow supposed hodlers,” he pointed out, hinting at the broader market dynamics and investor behaviors influencing price movements.

Renowned crypto expert Scott Melker weighed in on the debate, suggesting a possible rationale behind the ARKB outflows. “Probably just a large investor allocating to a different ETF,” Melker commented, indicating the strategic reallocation of assets within the crypto ETF space.

Responding to inquiries about the transparency of ETF transactions, Balchunas highlighted the inherent anonymity of ETF trading, stating, “No way to know, could be someone spooked by volatility, […] could have been ARK itself taking profits […] Not even the issuer knows who is going in and out of their ETFs. That anonymity is an underrated feature of ETFs,” thereby shedding light on the privacy aspects that differentiate ETFs from other investment vehicles.

Bitcoin Inflows Are Positive Again

Despite the concerns raised by the recent outflows, the ETF market demonstrated resilience yet again with positive flows of $113.5 million yesterday. Fidelity led the pack with $116.7 million in inflows, followed by Blackrock with $42 million and Bitwise with $23 million. ARKB had zero activity. GBTC did $75 million of outflows.

Renowned analyst WhalePanda commented, “Not much more to say now, price is going sideways. The big outflows on GBTC are over. Just consolidation and accumulation. 16 days until halving. Currently we [need] $60 million per day to buy up the daily mined supply. In 2.5 weeks that’s only $30 million at these prices.”

At press time, BTC traded at $66,217.

BTC price, 4-hour chart | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Featured image created with DALL·E, chart from TradingView.com

Disclaimer: The article is provided for educational purposes only. It does not represent the opinions of NewsBTC on whether to buy, sell or hold any investments and naturally investing carries risks. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use information provided on this website entirely at your own risk.

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