On Wednesday, Bitwise, the crypto asset manager, achieved a significant milestone by becoming the pioneer among the ten spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers to disclose its digital wallet address to the public.
The San Francisco-based company made a noteworthy announcement through a tweet, sharing a snapshot of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF’s (BITB) bitcoin address, revealing holdings totaling 11,858 bitcoins as of January 23. In emphasizing transparency, the company expressed its commitment to on-chain principles, allowing anyone to directly verify the fund’s holdings and transactions on the blockchain.
“In line with bitcoin’s foundational ethos, on-chain transparency is paramount,” stated Bitwise. “This marks our initial stride towards enhancing public transparency. Moving forward, we envision deeper initiatives, including collaborations with entities like Hoeski for real-time cryptographic attestations.”
Designed with an emphasis on unparalleled transparency, Bitcoin and the broader crypto ecosystem demand detailed financial insights into various products and services, including recently introduced ETFs.
However, concerns have surfaced with the advent of spot bitcoin ETFs, with some fearing that traditional finance (tradfi) might apply the same tactics to bitcoin as seen with other assets, potentially altering its fundamental nature. Notably, this echoes historical events, such as the mortgage-backed security bubble that precipitated the global financial crisis.
While the future trajectory of bitcoin remains uncertain, industry experts are lauding Bitwise for its proactive approach.
“Balaji Srinivasan lauded the move as ‘an important first step toward onchain accounting,’ showcasing the industry’s commitment to transparency,” noted the prominent Silicon Valley investor and former CTO of Coinbase.
Nate Geraci, President of ETF Store, also commended Bitwise, highlighting the dual transparency of the ETF wrapper and on-chain operations. This initiative is seen as another example of bridging traditional finance (tradfi) and decentralized finance (defi).
In a parallel development, Arkham Intelligence recently identified bitcoin wallet addresses for Bitwise, BlackRock, Fidelity, and Franklin Templeton. The same intelligence firm revealed wallet addresses for VanEck and WisdomTree.
Excluding any recent flows, Bitwise currently holds 11,858 bitcoins valued at approximately $474 million, given the current bitcoin price just below $40,000. As the most successful crypto-native ETF issuer to date, Bitwise has seen significant inflows totaling $518 billion in the past eight days. Notably, only BlackRock and Fidelity spot ETFs have surpassed Bitwise in inflows, recording approximately $1.8 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.