In a groundbreaking move towards enhanced transparency, Bitwise, one of the leading asset management firms in the United States, has publicly disclosed the wallet addresses of its spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) holdings.
The significant development comes just two weeks after the commencement of trading for the ETF’s shares.
Bitwise Holds $465M in BTC for Customers
Bitwise made the announcement through a tweet on January 24, unveiling the wallet address for its Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB), listed on the New York Stock Exchange Arca.
The disclosed address currently holds 11,858.63 BTC, valued at approximately $465 million, offering investors and enthusiasts an unprecedented level of visibility into the fund’s holdings. The move reflects the company’s commitment to on-chain transparency, aligning with the fundamental principles of Bitcoin. In their tweet, Bitwise said that making the addresses public is the first step towards transparency.
Announcement: Today the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB) becomes the first U.S. bitcoin ETF to publish the bitcoin addresses of its holdings.
Now anyone can verify BITB’s holdings and flows directly on the blockchain.
Onchain transparency is core to Bitcoin’s ethos. We’re proud to…
— Bitwise (@BitwiseInvest) January 24, 2024
Bitwise ETF Holders Support Disclosing Addresses
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted approval for Bitwise’s spot Bitcoin ETF on January 10, marking a significant milestone for the industry.
Approximately seven days after its launch, Bitwise’s Bitcoin ETF (BITB) was in the top 5% of ETFs by assets under management in 2023. Notably, there were approximately $76 million in net outflows for all spot Bitcoin ETFs on their seventh day of trading, with Grayscale’s GBTC leading in the largest net outflows.
The company’s CEO Hunter Horsley disclosed that the decision to reveal BTC addresses was driven by clear feedback from investors, indicating a growing demand for transparency in the crypto space.
On January 23, 2024, Horsley opened a poll on Twitter, now X, asking investors whether they would support the move. The poll saw overwhelming support from investors for the disclosure of BTC holdings, with 91.1% of 2,416 respondents favoring the move.
Not the Last
Bitwise’s initiative marks a significant development in the industry, with the company becoming the first among spot Bitcoin ETF issuers to release Bitcoin addresses for its investment vehicle.
While it remains to be seen whether other firms will follow suit, the move sets a noteworthy precedent in the evolving landscape of crypto-related financial products.
Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart expressed confidence that Bitwise might be the first, but likely not the last, to share BTC addresses for their investment vehicles.
Arkham Identifies Bitcoin ETF Addresses
The company’s release of the ETF addresses comes in the wake of findings by Arkham Intelligence, which claimed to have identified wallet addresses linked to ETFs from other major industry players like Bitwise, BlackRock, Fidelity, and Franklin Templeton.
The blockchain intelligence firm shared a screenshot of the addresses on X, claiming to be the first to uncover the wallet addresses.
On January 24, 2024, Arkham made another post that it had discovered more addresses belonging to VanEck and WisdomTree. According to the post on X, VanEck holds around 2,770 BTC with an estimated value of $111.17 million, while WisdomTree has 191.18 Bitcoins valued at $7.67 million.
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