Bitcoin tumbles from record high as Grayscale ETF outflows hit $12bn

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Bitcoin has fallen 16 per cent from its all-time high last week, as the investor flows into new stock market funds that had driven a huge rally this year go into reverse.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency, which hit $73,800 last Thursday, dropped as low as $60,760 on Wednesday before recovering to just under $64,000.

Its decline comes as outflows from the 11 new bitcoin exchange traded funds hit nearly $500mn in the last two days, according to data compiled by CoinShares, an asset management group. The greatest outflow was at Grayscale, the largest bitcoin ETF, which has had more than $1bn withdrawn from its fund this week.

Bitcoin has surged to record highs this year after US regulators approved spot bitcoin ETFs in January following a decade of rejections. Money has surged into some of the new funds, with BlackRock’s bitcoin ETF the fastest ETF in history to reach $10bn.

“The fact there’s regulated entities providing investment options into bitcoin is something that gives investors confidence, but it doesn’t alter the fundamental nature of bitcoin itself,” said Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at investment platform AJ Bell in London.

“There aren’t any fundamentals to bitcoin which give an anchor to the price, which makes it more vulnerable than other assets to major swings,” he added. “There is nothing there that you can use as a base for a valuation.”

The flow of money into the new ETFs since January has been tempered by consistent outflows at Grayscale, which has had withdrawals of more than $12bn since the Securities and Exchange Commission approved it to convert its bitcoin trust into an ETF.

On Wednesday there were a further $444mn of outflows, according to Bloomberg data. Grayscale has priced its ETF fees at 1.5 per cent, in contrast to rivals such as BlackRock, Fidelity, Ark Investment and Bitwise, which have slashed or temporarily waived fees to attract new customers.

BlackRock, the most successful of the new ETFs, had inflows of $527mn this week but others, such as Invesco, Franklin Templeton and Valkyrie, had minimal inflows.

“There was a flight to other ETFs because of some of the disadvantages the Grayscale product had, but this is just a minor price correction,” said Joel Kruger, market strategist at LMAX. “This setback is far away from any panic and concern or worry about bitcoin having some sort of extreme drop.”

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