A Performance Comparison Of Bitcoin Vs. Cryptocurrency/Blockchain Technology ETFs

Blockchain, Technology, Smart, Bitcoin, Money

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If you are uncomfortable going about owning Bitcoin but would still like to be involved in the marketplace why not consider buying an ETF that consists of companies involved in the sector but without the associated risk of self-custody within a digital wallet. There are 31 such ETFs, mutual funds, and trusts trading on Canadian and American stock exchanges (see here) to consider and this article identifies two (2) that are head and shoulders above their peers given that they almost exclusively own the stocks of companies that use or develop blockchain technology and, in one case, have a small exposure to the actual Bitcoin cryptocurrency, rather than focusing narrowly on tracking the price of individual cryptocurrencies.

Below are the details of those two ETFs with descriptions of each, links to their charts and daily pricing and their performances since the end of October and YTD, in comparison to Bitcoin:

First Trust Indxx Innovative Transaction & Process ETF (LEGR

  • UP 5.9% since the end of October; DOWN 24.7% YTD
    • LEGR is a passively managed fund launched in January 2018. It tracks the performance of the Indxx Blockchain Index.
    • It only invest in companies that have devoted real resources to actually using blockchain technology - either by currently deploying blockchain technology or actively developing it and, as such, excludes companies that are merely exploring this new technology.
    • It is highly diversified with 102 holdings, with no single holding weighted at more than 1.6% of net assets.
    • It concentrates on the following sectors: Financials (36%), Information Technology (32%), Communication Services (9%), Consumer Discretionary (8%) and Industrials (7%).
    • Its top ten holdings, in descending order, are: S&P SE, Infineon Technologies, Honeywell, AT&T, NVIDIA, Samsung, Engie, IBM, Micron Technology and Emirates Telecommunications.
    • Its top country exposures are: USA (36%), China (9%), Germany (9%), India (8%), France (6%), U.K. (5%) and Switzerland (3%)
    • It has an expense ratio of 0.65%
    • It has a dividend yield of 3.81%
    • It has Assets Under Management (AUM) of US$112.3M
      • Go here for a chart of the most recent pricing.

Simplify US Equity PLUS GBTC ETF (SPBC)

  • DOWN 4.5% since the end of October; DOWN 32.3% YTD
    • SPBC targets a 100% investment in U.S. equities and provides a 10% exposure to Bitcoin via the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)
    • It does not invest directly in bitcoin, bitcoin futures, or other cryptocurrencies and, as such, does not track the price movements of cryptocurrencies.
    • Its holdings are concentrated in just three areas, namely: iShares Core S&P 500 ETF: 86%; December S&P e -mini Futures contract: (15%); and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC): 8%; Cash (-9%)
    • The ETF has an expense ratio of 0.73%
    • It has a dividend yield of 2.12%
    • It has Assets Under Management (AUM): US$47.8M
      • Go here for a chart of the most recent pricing.


In comparison, Bitcoin, and the many ETFs that provide exposure to Bitcoin through the futures market (as listed here),

  • DOWN 19.4% since the end of October; DOWN 74.5% YTD.


There you have it! The choice is yours: owning Bitcoin stored in a digital wallet that is DOWN 74,5% YTD (and DOWN 19.4% since the end of October) or in either of the above 2 ETFs that are "only" DOWN 27.7%, on average, YTD (but actually UP 1.8%, on average, since the end of October).

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