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ETF Market Dynamics: A Tale of Inflows, Outflows, and Tokenization

ETF Market Dynamics: A Tale of Inflows, Outflows, and Tokenization


  • Inflows and Deceleration: ETFs played a crucial role in the recent cryptocurrency rally, accumulating billions in inflows since January. However, in April, there was a noticeable deceleration in net flows across all ETFs. BlackRock’s IBIT experienced its first daily outflow of $37 million after an impressive 71-day streak of inflows.
  • Turning Tide: Following cooler-than-expected US jobs data, ETFs—including Grayscale’s GBTC—saw substantial inflows. GBTC recorded positive inflows for the first time. BlackRock, a formidable ETF player, is closely matching GBTC’s holdings.
  • Tokenization and Real-World Assets: While spot ETF inflows waned, interest in tokenizing real-world assets (RWAs) surged. BlackRock’s BUIDL fund surpassed $300 million, becoming the largest tokenized US Treasuries fund.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been pivotal in propelling the recent cryptocurrency rally, amassing billions in inflows since their inception in early January. Yet, as the market entered April, a noticeable deceleration occurred.

BlackRock’s IBIT experienced its first daily outflow of $37 million last week, halting an impressive streak of 71 consecutive days of inflows. A gradual decline in net flows across all ETFs has been observed since the year’s start.

However, the tide may be turning. Following the release of cooler-than-expected US jobs data, which spurred speculation on Federal Reserve rate cuts, ETFs, including Grayscale’s GBTC, witnessed substantial inflows. This marked a significant milestone for GBTC, recording positive inflows for the first time.

BlackRock has emerged as a formidable force in the ETF arena, with IBIT’s holdings on the verge of matching those of GBTC. The global competition among ETFs is intensifying. Just last week, three Chinese asset managers—Bosera Asset Management, Harvest Global Investments, and China Asset Management—debuted BTC and ETH spot ETFs in Hong Kong.

China’s Trio of Asset Managers Stir the ETF Scene with BTC and ETH Offerings

ETF Market Dynamics: A Tale of Inflows, Outflows, and Tokenization

The combined trading volume on the inaugural day for these ETFs totaled $12.7 million across HKD, RMB, and USD—a figure dwarfed by the $4.6 billion traded by US spot ETFs on their launch day. It’s crucial to note, however, that Hong Kong’s ETF market is significantly smaller than that of the US.

ChinaAMC’s Bitcoin ETF outperformed in terms of volume, despite its higher fee of 99 basis points. ETH ETFs garnered 23% of the total volume on the first day, with BTC ETFs claiming the lion’s share at 77%.

The Asia-Pacific region’s appetite for crypto exposure remains hearty. Recent 13F filings with the US SEC indicate that a Hong Kong-based asset manager holds the largest stake in BlackRock’s IBIT fund.

While the inflow into spot ETFs has waned, the interest in the tokenization of real-world assets (RWAs) has surged. BlackRock’s BUIDL fund recently surpassed $300 million, eclipsing Franklin Templeton’s BENJI to become the largest tokenized US Treasuries fund. 

The issuance of BUIDL tokens, primarily driven by Ondo Finance’s plan to transfer $95 million to BlackRock’s fund, underscores the growing institutional interest in this innovative investment vehicle. The ETF landscape continues to evolve, with traditional inflows and novel tokenization strategies vying for dominance in the market.

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