Gold ETFs Witness $2.4 Billion Outflows Amid Bitcoin ETF Surge

In contrast to Bitcoin-tracking exchange-traded funds (ETFs), gold-tracking ETFs have witnessed significant outflows this year.

On February 14, Eric Balchunas, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, disclosed that gold ETFs in the top 14 rankings have experienced a combined outflow of $2.4 billion since January.

BlackRock’s iShares Gold Trust Micro and iShares Gold Trust experienced significant outflows, with $230.4 million and $423.6 million lost, respectively. These outflows coincided with a 3.4% decline in gold prices since the beginning of the year, reaching a two-month low of $1,993 per ounce on February 14.

Meanwhile it’s a pretty bad scene right now in the gold ETFs category… via @SirYappityyapp in our just published weekly flow note

— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) February 14, 2024

Only a few leading gold ETFs deviated from this trend, as VanEck Merk Gold Shares, FT Vest Gold Strategy Target Income ETF, and Proshares UltraShort Gold recorded minor inflows.

According to research conducted by the World Gold Council dated February 7, this downward trend contributed to a 2% decline in total assets under management (AUM), falling to $210 billion, and a 1% decrease in gold prices at that time.

Meanwhile, according to data from Lookonchain, Bitcoin ETFs have garnered significant inflows, accumulating a total of 705,566 BTC this year across nine approved funds.

Feb 14 Update:#iShares(#Blackrock) added 10,003 $BTC($518M) today and currently holds 105,280 $BTC($5.45B).

8 ETFs added 14,104 $BTC($730.3M) and #Grayscale decreased 1,912 $BTC($99M).

— Lookonchain (@lookonchain) February 14, 2024

February 14 alone saw ETF inflows totaling a solid $631 million, with BlackRock’s ETF reaching the $5 billion mark. Bitcoin’s price has also experienced an increase, surging by 23.5% over the same period, reaching a two-year high of $52,483 on February 14.

Analysts Weigh In

Portfolio manager “Bitcoin Munger” remarked on the significant shift in investment preferences, highlighting BTC’s appeal alongside the substantial AUM losses faced by gold ETFs.

However, analysts like Balchunas cautioned against interpreting this as a mass migration from gold to Bitcoin, attributing it to a fear of missing out (FOMO) in the U.S. equity market.

Bitcoin pioneer Jameson Lopp, on the other hand, shared a chart comparing the performance of the two ETFs, inquiring about the status of gold advocate and Bitcoin skeptic Peter Schiff.

Can someone do a wellness check on @PeterSchiff?

— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) February 14, 2024

Earlier this month, the World Gold Council shed light on the global gold ETF outflows, citing a reduction in speculative positioning and headwinds from long-term Treasuries and the U.S. dollar as contributing factors to gold’s lackluster performance.

These developments contradict the prediction by Bloomberg senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone, who anticipated gold outperforming Bitcoin in 2024.

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