Bitwise Reveals Public Addresses for Bitcoin Holdings in ETF: Attracts Donations & Inscriptions

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In an unprecedented move towards transparency in the evolving crypto ETF landscape, asset management firm Bitwise publicly disclosed the wallet addresses holding Bitcoin for its spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).

With over 11,858 BTC worth approximately $465 million, Bitwise is the first among the recent wave of spot Bitcoin ETF issuers to reveal on-chain details of its holdings.


TLDR

  • Bitwise became the first spot Bitcoin ETF issuer to make its BTC wallet address public, holding over 11,858 BTC worth about $465 million
  • The wallet has received over 16,000 inscriptions worth over $6,000, including rare Bitcoin ordinals like RSIC airdrops, Bitcoin Punks, Bitcoin Burials, etc.
  • The move was driven by investor demand for more transparency, with 91.1% supporting address disclosure in a Twitter poll by Bitwise
  • Arkham Intelligence claimed to have identified wallet addresses of other major BTC ETFs like BlackRock, Fidelity and Franklin Templeton
  • VanEck reportedly holds around 2,770 BTC worth $111 million while WisdomTree has 191 BTC worth $7.67 million according to Arkham

Beyond just improving transparency, Bitwise’s ETF address is attracting public attention and engagement.

Within hours of going public, the wallet saw an influx of tips and donations, including over 16,000 inscriptions worth more than $6,000. These inscriptions range from rare Bitcoin ordinals like RSIC airdrops and Bitcoin Punks to more common BRC-20 tokens. This level of public participation reflects growing fascination with crypto investment vehicles.

According to Bitwise CEO Hunter Horsley, the decision stemmed from clear feedback from ETF investors demanding more transparency. A Twitter poll saw over 91% of respondents supporting public wallet addresses. As the first firm to acquiesce to this demand, Bitwise is setting a precedent that others may soon follow.

Industry research firm Arkham Intelligence claimed to have already identified addresses linked to other major players like BlackRock, Fidelity and Franklin Templeton. While unverified, this suggests efforts are underway to uncover holdings of other Bitcoin ETFs. Arkham also released information on VanEck and WisdomTree, showing holdings of around 2,770 BTC ($111 million) and 191 BTC ($7.67 million) respectively.

For an asset class built on principles of transparency, verifiability and trustlessness, the opaque nature of crypto ETFs has posed an irony. As publicly traded securities, these funds are tightly regulated. Strict confidentiality ensures fund managers don’t expose strategies or undermine prices when making large trades. However, for cryptocurrencies intended to operate as “public ledgers,” this clashes with the ethos of radical transparency.

By splitting the difference, Bitwise satisfies regulatory obligations while signalling to cryptocurrency purists. Revealing wallet addresses lets investors validate holdings without disclosing manuals or intentions. The ETF continues trading as normal, but with its Bitcoin reserves now visible on the blockchain.

But beyond just symbolism, Bitwise’s “proof of reserves” could pressure competitors to follow suit.

By raising expectations, it brings previously opaque holdings into public sight. Much as institutional skepticism kept firms from offering crypto products, now crypto-native transparency standards may force their hands. To keep up with leaders, other ETF issuers may have to publicize at least surface-level blockchain reserves. In the long term, such moves could improve accountability across managed crypto funds.

The post Bitwise Reveals Public Addresses for Bitcoin Holdings in ETF: Attracts Donations & Inscriptions appeared first on Blockonomi.

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