VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF notches 1,400% daily trading volume increase


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VanEck’s spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) has experienced a sudden and drastic trading volume uptick, leaving market commentators looking for the reason why.

VanEck’s fund — which sports the ticker “HODL” — saw $258 million in trading volume on Feb. 20, a nearly 15 times increase in volume from the previous day, according to data shared to X by senior Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.

VanEck’s sudden volume spike was from an influx of around 32,000 individual trades — which Balchunas noted was 60 times its average — and not from a single large investor, which he said “would make sense.”

“Still haven’t figured out what happened,” Balchunas wrote in a follow-up X post five hours later.

“No one knows. Given how sudden and explosive the increase in number of trades was (500 trades Friday, 50,000 trades today) I’m wondering if some Reddit or TikTok influencer type recommended them to their followers. Feels retail army-ish,” he added.

“WTF? ETF Unsolved Mysteries will continue after a word from our sponsors…”

On Feb. 15, VanEck filed a notice to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission outlining it would drop fees for its ETF from 0.25% to 0.20% beginning Feb. 21, 5 basis points below that of the fees charged by the market leaders BlackRock and Fidelity.

The largest fund issuer BlackRock pledged to waive fees on its iShares fund until it reached $5 billion AUM. Since hitting that milestone on Feb. 15, BlackRock will charge 0.25% fees on all new investment into its fund. 

Related: Bitcoin ETFs inflows snowball: Last 4 days bigger than first 4 weeks

Trading volumes on WisdomTree’s Bitcoin Fund (WBTC) were also “popping off,” witnessing a roughly 1,200% jump from its average to $154 million in total daily volume on Feb. 20, per Bloomberg data cited by Balchunas.

WBTC saw 23,000 individual trades go through on Feb. 20, a significant increase from a “mere 221 trades on Friday,” added Balchunas.

The trading volume increase across the HODL and WBTC funds came around a time of “elevated but not crazy” volume on market-leading funds, including BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin ETF.

VanEck’s Bitcoin Trust currently stands as the seventh-largest spot Bitcoin ETF, commanding $191.9 million in assets under management (AUM), while WisdomTree’s fund is the smallest with just $29.4 million AUM, per Dune Analytics data.

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Bitcoin ETFs ranked by total AUM. Source: Dune Analytics

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