Asset management firm Bitwise made the Bitcoin (BTC) addresses of its spot BTC exchange-traded (ETF) fund public, roughly two weeks after the shares were made available for trading.
In a Jan. 24 X post, the firm announced that “anyone can verify” holdings for its Bitwise Bitcoin ETF, which trades as BITB on the New York Stock Exchange Arca. At the time of publication, the address provided by Bitwise contained 11,858.63 BTC, worth roughly $465 million.
“Onchain transparency is core to Bitcoin’s ethos,” said Bitwise. “We’re proud to walk the walk with BITB. […] Publishing on-chain addresses is a first step toward increasing public 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… pic.twitter.com/1JTUh3zvDE
— Bitwise (@BitwiseInvest) January 24, 2024
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission approved Bitwise’s spot Bitcoin ETF offering on Jan. 10, along with 10 other applications from asset management firms. It’s unclear if other companies plan to release BTC addresses for their investment vehicles in the future. On Jan. 22, Arkham Intelligence claimed to have identified several wallets linked to ETFs, including those from Bitwise, BlackRock, Fidelity and Franklin Templeton.
Bitwise co-founder and CEO Hunter Horsley said on X that the firm had released the BTC address in response to “clear feedback” from investors. An X poll launched by Horsley on Jan. 23 showed that 91.1% of 2,416 respondents favored the BTC holdings being made public.
“Bitwise is the first and almost certainly not the last to post their Bitcoin address for BITB,” said ETF analyst James Seyffart on X.
Roughly seven days after its launch, BITB was in the top 5% of ETFs by assets under management in 2023. There was roughly $76 million in net outflows for all spot BTC ETFs on their seventh day of trading, with Grayscale’s GBTC leading in the largest net outflows.