Bitcoin ETF Bonanza: Largest Holder of BlackRock, Ark Funds Revealed

Bracebridge Capital, a little-known hedge fund in Boston, has emerged as one of the largest holders of spot Bitcoin ETFs, holding hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the assets in total—including the largest individual tallies in the BlackRock and Ark Invest/21 Shares ETFs.

“They went wild, basically,” wrote Bloomberg ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas in a post on Twitter (aka X), pointing to the firm’s $363 million in Bitcoin exposure across ETFs issued by BlackRock ($81 million), Grayscale ($20 million), and Ark Invest/21Shares ($262 million).

Excluding market makers and so-called authorized participants, which play a key part maintaining accurate prices for spot Bitcoin ETFs through the creation and redemption of shares, Bracebridge Capital’s holdings represent the “new high water mark,” Balchunas said.

Established in 1994, Bracebridge Capital has approximately $12 billion in assets under management, according to the firm’s employment page. Described as the largest woman-run hedge fund in the world in 2016, the “secretive” firm also manages funds from the endowments of Princeton University and Yale University, per Bloomberg News.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) values Bracebridge Capital’s spot Bitcoin ETF holdings at $434 million in March—not including options. The snapshot of the firm’s U.S. traded equities in the first quarter, among other positions, came when Bitcoin’s price was close to $72,000. Now it’s around $62,700.

Behind $300 million in Ark Invest and 21Shares’ Bitcoin ETF, Bracebridge Capital reported holding $100 million in BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF, and $26.5 million in Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust.

In addition to holding shares of BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF, Bracebridge Capital held options for the product worth $284 million at the time. Not including other spot Bitcoin ETFs, the total exposure to BlackRock’s product represented 47% of Bracebridge Capital’s reported holdings.

Add it all together: $718 million or 88% of the reported holdings from Bracebridge Capital’s filing comprise shares of spot Bitcoin ETFs or options that are based on them.

A representative from Bracebridge Capital declined to comment on the firm’s SEC filing or the nature of its holdings to Decrypt.

Since spot Bitcoin ETFs were approved in the U.S. in January, Wall Street firms have allocated $11.6 billion to them, according to data from Farside Investors. That figure undoubtedly includes Bracebridge Capital’s outsized holdings, but as recently revealed, those of banking giants like Wells Fargo too.

Edited by Andrew Hayward


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.

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