Bitwise Sets New Standard for Transparency with Public Release of Bitcoin ETF Wallet Address

Crypto asset manager Bitwise has become the first of the ten spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers to publicly share its digital wallet address. The San Francisco-based firm tweeted a screenshot showing the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF’s (BITB) bitcoin address, along with its holdings of 11,858 bitcoin as of January 23. This move allows anyone to verify the fund’s holdings and flows directly on the blockchain, providing a new level of transparency.

Bitwise emphasized that on-chain transparency is at the core of bitcoin’s ethos and expressed pride in taking this step with BITB. The company sees publishing on-chain addresses as a first step towards increasing public transparency and hopes to do more in the future, such as working with firms like Hoeski to provide real-time cryptographic attestations.

Bitcoin and the entire crypto ecosystem were designed with the goal of unprecedented transparency. Therefore, many industry participants demand detailed insights into the financials behind various products and services, including the newly launched ETFs. The introduction of spot bitcoin ETFs raised concerns among some that the traditional finance industry might use fancy packaging and derivatives to transform bitcoin into something unrecognizable, similar to what happened with mortgage-backed securities before the global financial crisis.

Industry experts have applauded Bitwise’s move, considering it an important first step towards on-chain accounting. Prominent Silicon Valley investor and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan praised the initiative, while Nate Geraci, president of investment advisory firm ETF Store, commended the transparency of the ETF wrapper and on-chain transparency, calling it an example of bridge-building between traditional finance and decentralized finance.

In addition to Bitwise, Arkham Intelligence has also identified bitcoin wallet addresses from BlackRock, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, VanEck, and WisdomTree. Bitwise currently holds 11,858 bitcoins, worth approximately $474 million at the current bitcoin price of just under $40,000. The asset manager has been the most successful crypto-native ETF issuer so far, attracting $518 billion of inflows in the past eight days. Only spot ETFs from BlackRock and Fidelity have seen more inflows, with approximately $1.8 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.

Overall, Bitwise’s decision to share its digital wallet address marks a significant milestone in the crypto industry’s pursuit of transparency. By allowing the public to verify its holdings and flows directly on the blockchain, Bitwise is setting an example for other ETF issuers and contributing to the ongoing efforts to bridge the gap between traditional finance and the decentralized world of cryptocurrencies.