The Top Five Spot Bitcoin ETFs In 2024: Grayscale GBTC, BlackRock IBIT, and More

Mar 7, 2024, 3:41PM
3 min, 46 sec READ

Want to invest in a spot Bitcoin ETF? Consider these five funds and the brokerages that provide access to them.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved several spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in January 2024. Each ETF provides access to shares of a fund containing Bitcoin (BTC), allowing investors to gain exposure to the price activity of Bitcoin without holding the asset in a crypto wallet.

Currently, there are ten spot Bitcoin ETFs available to investors, as well as various other non-spot ETFs. We'll compare the five largest spot Bitcoin ETFs below.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)

$25 billion AUM | 1.50% Expense Ratio | NYSE Arca

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is by far the largest spot Bitcoin ETF on the market, with $25 billion of assets under management (AUM). The fund has considerably higher fees than other products of its type.

Unlike most of its competitors, Grayscale converted its ETF from an existing investment fund that originated in 2013. This has allowed GBTC to start its life with billions of dollars in value. GBTC's large starting size has also allowed it to maintain its size despite considerable outflows: $7.4 billion in assets were redeemed over GBTC's first month of trading, according to Bloomberg.

GBTC is also notable because Grayscale played a key role in the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs. SEC chair Gary Gensler described how the company's legal action led the agency to approve spot Bitcoin ETFs in a January statement.

BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT)

$10 billion AUM | 0.25% Expense Ratio | Nasdaq

BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, is responsible for the iShares Bitcoin ETF Trust (IBIT). The fund is the second largest of its type, with $10 billion in AUM.

Alongside BlackRock's world-class standing, IBIT has one major selling point: low early fees. IBIT's expense ratio was reduced from 0.25% to 0.12% for the first twelve months or until its AUM exceeded $5 billion. The fact that the fund now has twice that amount under management suggests that the waiver is no longer available.

IBIT is part of BlackRock's popular iShares line of ETFs, meaning that this spot Bitcoin ETF is a highly trusted and reliable option.

Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC)

$6.5 billion AUM | 0.25% Expense Ratio | Cboe

FBTC is offered by Fidelity, the third largest asset manager in the world. Incidentally, the fund is also the third largest spot Bitcoin ETF, boasting $6.5 billion in assets under management.

Fidelity has waived its fees. It will begin charging its regular 0.25% fee in August 2024, making this a potentially affordable option for early investors.

Notably, Fidelity operates a retail brokerage. This means that investors can easily invest in the fund through the ETF issuer itself. By contrast, many other ETFs are only available through third-party brokers and financial services.

Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB)

$2.1 billion AUM | 0.21% Expense Ratio | Cboe

Ark and 21Shares’s ARKB is the fourth largest spot Bitcoin ETF overall, with $2.1 billion in assets under management.

ARKB included a fee waiver for the first six months or until $1 billion in AUM. That waiver has seemingly concluded to the fund's current AUM. ARKB's regular fee is 0.21%.

Ark is notable because it is an early mover. ARKB had a Jan. 10 decision deadline, compelling the SEC to decide whether to approve the fund before any others. The SEC ultimately decided to approve all similar funds at that time.

Bitwise Bitcoin ETF (BITB)

$1.5 Billion AUM | 0.20% Expense Ratio | NYSE

Much like Ark and Grayscale, Bitwise is known for its long-standing focus on crypto. Its BITB fund is the fifth largest spot Bitcoin ETF, with $1.5 billion in AUM.

The company initially offered a waiver, though that offer is seemingly no longer available as the fund is now above $1 billion in AUM. BITB is nevertheless affordable with a 0.20% fee, which is among the lowest regular ETF fees.

Bitwise was also one of the first asset managers to advertise its spot Bitcoin ETF. The company aired a popular ad featuring “The Most Interesting Man in the World" actor Jonathan Goldsmith, best known for his past promotions of Dos Equis beer.

Where to Access Spot Bitcoin ETFs

You can trade spot Bitcoin ETFs on various brokerages including Fidelity, Robinhood, Charles Schwab, E*Trade, Interactive Brokers, eToro, and more. Investopedia provides a list of platforms that offer access to spot Bitcoin ETFs.

If you want to invest in Bitcoin directly, see Bitrates’ comparison of cryptocurrency exchanges. These services provide access to crypto held in wallets rather than Bitcoin ETF shares. This option is ideal if you want to spend and transfer cryptocurrency while potentially earning gains on your investment.

Disclaimer: information contained herein is provided without considering your personal circumstances, therefore should not be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.