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Bitcoin (BTC) and other altcoins started the new year on a bullish note, with most cryptocurrencies surging to multi-month highs. Apart from the spot market, the equity exchange-traded fund (ETF) market is also dominated by BTC, wherein Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI) is the leading equity ETF market and is up by 40% year to date.

The Bitcoin mining ETF is leading the traditional equity ETF market and the leveraged equity ETFs, which is considered a rare occurrence. Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas pointed out that the Valkyrie Bitcoin mining ETF is highly “concentrated,” with investment in only 20 firms, including Argo Blockchain, Bitfarm and Intel, among other notable names.

The WGMI ETF was listed on the Nasdaq in February 2022 but didn’t invest directly in BTC. 80% of its net assets offer exposure through the securities of companies that derive at least 50% of their revenue or profits from BTC mining. Valkyrie invests the rest of the 20% in companies holding “a significant portion of their net assets” in Bitcoin.

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Equity ETF market performance. Source: Bloomberg

The first Bitcoin ETF to be approved in the United States was ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, launched in October 2021, which tracked Bitcoin prices through futures contracts traded on the CME marketplace. The first ETF gained a lot of early market traction, seeing $1 billion in trading volume on its first day. This made many believe that the success would eventually convince regulators to approve the first spot market-based ETF in 2022. However, a prolonged crypto winter and crypto contagions turned the tide against the crypto ETFs.

Cryptocurrency-related ETFs became the two worst-performing ETFs in Australia in 2022, with the same story playing out in the United States. According to ETF.com, the top four worst-performing ETFs in the U.S. in 2022 were crypto-related.

Related: Grayscale CEO highlights 20% GBTC share buyback option if ETF conversion fails

Crypto ETFs were seen as the next big step for the crypto industry to drive mainstream adoption. However, this was hindered by the prolonged bear market and several negative events in 202. 


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