With the start of the new year, the crypto market has seen a new bullish resurgence, with Bitcoin (BTC) and other altcoins hitting multi-month highs. Apart from the spot market, the equity exchange-traded fund (ETF) market is also dominated by BTC, wherein Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI) is the leading equity ETF market and is up by 40% year to date.
The Bitcoin mining ETF is not just leading the traditional equity ETF market but also the leveraged equity ETFs as well, which is considered a rare occurrence. Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas pointed out that the Valkyrie Bitcoin mining ETF is highly “concentrated,” with investment in only 20 firms, including Agro Blockchain, Bitfarm, and Intel among other notable names.
The WGMI ETF was listed on Nasdaq in February 2022, but it didn’t invest directly in BTC. 80% of its net assets offer exposure through the securities of companies that derive at least 50% of their revenue or profits from BTC mining. Valkyrie invests the rest of the 20% in companies holding “a significant portion of their net assets” in Bitcoin.
Equity ETF market performance Source: Bloomberg
The first Bitcoin ETF to be approved in the United States was ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, launched in October of 2021, which tracked Bitcoin prices through futures contracts traded at the CME. The first ETF gained a lot of early market traction seeing $1 billion in trading volume on its first day. This made many believe that the success would eventually convince regulators in 2022 to approve the first spot market-based ETF, but prolonged crypto winter and crypto contagions turned the tide against the crypto ETFs.
Cryptocurrency-related ETFs became the two worst-performing ETFs in Australia in 2022, with the same story playing out in the U.S. The top four worst-performing ETFs in the U.S. for 2022 were crypto-related, according to ETF.com data.
Crypto ETFs were seen as the next big step for the crypto industry to attain mainstream adoption. However, the prolonged bear market and several crypto contagions in 2022 took the limelight away.