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Bitcoin ETFs, GBTC’s billion-dollar exodus, and their impact on the market

3min Read

GBTC’s net outflows have had quite the effect on the crypto-market. Here’s what you should know…

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  • GBTC has seen significant outflows since approval of spot Bitcoin ETF
  • Critics suggest the downturn underlines broader market dynamics and sentiment

The cryptocurrency market has lately recorded a significant downturn, with Bitcoin’s (BTC) value dropping about 20% from its peak. It fell from around $49,000 to approximately $40,000, while also briefly falling below $38,000 on the charts. 

This decline coincided with the introduction of spot Bitcoin ETFs, leading to speculation about their impact on the market. Notably, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) has been at the center of this discussion due to its significant outflows. 

GBTC’s maximized outflow: A cause for concern?

GBTC’s outflows were initially reported at around $500 million shortly after the ETF’s launch, escalating to an estimated total of $4 billion in outflows.

Despite the introduction of ETFs by major financial players like BlackRock, which has seen a billion in net inflows, the market has not stabilized. The significant outflows from GBTC suggest that investors are not merely shifting their holdings from GBTC to other ETFs, but are instead exiting the cryptocurrency market altogether. 

This trend depends on the FTX estate’s sale of over a billion dollars of GBTC shares, contributing to the downward pressure on Bitcoin’s price.

A glimmer of hope

However, some critics and experts have completely different opinions on the scenario. Robert Leshner, a crypto-investor and CEO of Superstate, shared his views on this episode. 

In a recent interview, Leshner said,

“I don’t think you can blame GBTC because the total net flows across all ETFs and ETPs across all of the Bitcoin networks is actually positive. It may seem like GBTC is losing the most money, but it just seems to be moving into other products.” 

This perspective suggests that the market’s downturn is not merely a result of shifts within the exchange-traded product (ETP) ecosystem. Instead, it reflects broader market dynamics, including sales in spot markets outside the ETP complex. 

The focus on GBTC, which has seen the most significant losses, overshadows the fact that money is moving, indicating a redistribution rather than a net withdrawal from Bitcoin investments.

How GBTC’s outflows changed market sentiment

The initial positive inflows following the ETF launches have turned negative, leading to a net flat outcome, contrary to expectations of a net positive flow. This shift has altered the story around ETFs. To explain this scenario better, the exec added,

“The bad day was the day GBTC lost a billion dollars, and it completely transformed the narrative around the ETFs where there were more assets at stake to leave the products than there was to enter them.”

Hoping for a stable future

As the market anticipates a stabilization of GBTC outflows and a return to net inflows, the attention is also on the gradual accumulation of capital by other ETFs over the year. This slow accumulation process, driven by financial advisors and allocators gradually introducing clients to these products, will contribute to the market’s recovery over time. 

However, until GBTC outflows cease and the market finds a new equilibrium, the cryptocurrency market is likely to remain volatile. It will also remain influenced by broader investor sentiment and the regulatory landscape.


Prakriti is a Content Writer at AMBCrypto. She describes herself as a passionately creative individual, with a dash of strategic prowess. With over 3.5 years of experience in the field of content writing and marketing, she is dedicated to churning out top-notch content in domains like Crypto, Web 3.0, AI and contributing to quench the thirst for technical knowledge of her readers.
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