As the cryptocurrency community has been focused on the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, some crypto-linked ETFs have already been racking up significant gains in 2023.
One such ETF is the VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP), which has surged nearly 207% year to date (YTD), according to data from TradingView. Launched in April 2021, DAPP tracks the price and performance of the MVIS Global Digital Assets Equity Index, which, in turn, is based on the performance of major companies involved in the digital asset economy.
VanEck’s DAPP ETF holds Coinbase (COIN), MicroStrategy (MSTR) and Block (SQ) as its top exposure assets. Coinbase and MicroStrategy have seen massive growth this year, with the shares rising 312% and 302% YTD, respectively, according to data from TradingView.
At the time of writing, DAPP is the top-performing blockchain ETF so far in 2023, beating products like the Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH) and the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ), according to data from the ETF data provider VettaFi.
According to TradingView data, Global X’s BKCH has surged nearly 203% YTD, while Bitwise’s BITQ has returned almost 192% so far in 2023. Performance data on VettaFi is significantly different from data on TradingView, with the former lagging up to 50% in some cases.Top five blockchain ETFs by price change in 2023. Source: VettaFi
Other major winners on the list of top-performing blockchain ETFs in 2023 include the Global X Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITS) and the iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC), which have both added more than 184% to their YTD value, according to TradingView.
Despite posting massive returns in 2023, some blockchain ETFs are still far off their all-time highs. For example, the VanEck Digital Transformation ETF is down about 77% from its record of $34 that was set in November 2021. On the other hand, the iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF has been breaking all-time highs, with the stock crossing its previous high of $8.4 in November 2023.
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Many companies that have seen success with their blockchain industry-themed ETFs in 2023 — including VanEck, Bitwise and Global X — are also seeking to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF.
Unlike blockchain industry-themed ETFs such as DAPP and BKCH, a spot Bitcoin ETF aims to offer direct exposure to the price of Bitcoin, as it would hold the actual cryptocurrency.
In another effort to get its spot Bitcoin ETF filing approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), VanEck filed a fifth amended application for a spot Bitcoin ETF on Dec. 8. According to Bitwise, a spot Bitcoin ETF will be approved in 2024 and will become the “most successful ETF launch of all time.”
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