Top Crypto ETF: BlackRock's IBIT

This week's Spotlight ETF may be ETF of the year, but let's focus on the iShares Bitcoin ETF's record-setting launch. IBIT launched Jan. 11 alongside 10 other spot bitcoin ETFs to attract investors and financial advisers seeking an easy entry into cryptocurrency investing. IBIT quickly outperformed the pack.

Although IBIT has more than $12 billion in assets under management, it reached $10 billion faster than any other ETF in history in March. For comparison, the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) reached $10 billion more than two years after its 2004 inception.

To put it in context, the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin ETF (FBTC) is the second-largest of the 11 January launches at $7.6 billion.

First, New York-based BlackRock Inc. has more than $10 trillion in assets under management and can overshadow anything in the financial services business. BlackRock's iShares ETFs handle $2.7 trillion.

Fidelity Investments, based in Boston, has $3 trillion in assets, including over $700 billion in ETFs, but is just a third of BlackRock.

“When you see stuff fly out the door, that's where your attention goes,” said 3iQ research chief Mark Connors. He continued, “Right now, the BlackRock sales force is no longer talking about ESG or bonds.” They're considering IBIT.

The second aspect of IBIT's two-fold growth spurt is bitcoin's surging price, which hit an all-time high this week and is up over 55% in 30 days.

The bitcoin boom is lifting all spot bitcoin ETFs, but when price appreciation accounts for 40% of asset growth, bigger grows bigger.