In a shocking announcement, blockchain research platform Arkham Intelligence claims to have identified the on-chain addresses of four Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States.
This revelation, shared via his X account (@ArkhamIntel) on January 22, highlights transparency in the cryptocurrency space.
Arkham has claimed pioneering by being the first to publicly identify the on-chain addresses of these ETFs, which include BlackRock, Fidelity, Bitwise and Franklin Templeton.
Breaking: ETF addresses for Blackrock, Fidelity, Bitwise, and Franklin Templeton are now on Arkham.
Arkham has identified the on-chain location of four of the Bitcoin ETFs. We are the first to publicly identify these addresses.
Links and holdings breakdown below: pic.twitter.com/gFJAIklwtc
— Arkham (@ArkhamIntel) January 22, 2024
According to data provided by Arkham, investors can now verify the hashes of transactions handled by these ETFs directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.
In particular, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) stands out, currently holding 33,430 BTC, worth approximately $1.3 billion.
This data matches public information on IBIT holdings revealed on BlackRock’s website.
Arkham reveals this data a few months after identifying the addresses of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in September 2023
GBTC, after receiving landmark approval from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on January 10, 2024, became the largest Bitcoin ETF among approved funds, holding 558,280 BTC, equivalent to nearly $29 billion at the time of writing the article.
Despite these discoveries, Arkham has yet to identify the addresses of five other Bitcoin ETFs in the United States, including those of 21Shares, Invesco and Galaxy, VanEck, Valkyrie and WisdomTree.
The cryptocurrency enthusiast community has urged Bitcoin ETF issuers to publish Bitcoin addresses supporting their products, arguing that this would ensure the security of the underlying BTC.
However, some executive figures have expressed concerns about the security risks associated with disclosing the on-chain addresses of Bitcoin ETFs.
In November 2022, Grayscale declined to disclose information about on-chain wallets, citing “security concerns.”
Ophelia Snyder, co-founder of 21.co and 21Shares, has warned of potential “unintended consequences” of exposing Bitcoin ETF wallet addresses, noting the need to be cautious in disclosing this information, especially in terms of the trading infrastructure.
Arkham Intelligence’s disclosure of Bitcoin ETFs on-chain addresses offers a unique insight into the transparency of the crypto space, although security concerns and caution in disclosure remain major issues in the industry.