21Shares Expands Holdings Transparency in ARKB

Asset manager that teamed with ARK will disclose crypto holdings under agreement with Chainlink to address security and transparency concerns.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Ron Day

21Shares AG, the asset manager operating the Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) with Ark Investment Management, will disclose the ETF's holdings data under an agreement with crypto-focused software platform Chainlink as investors seek greater transparency and security in crypto investments.

Through Chainlink, which operates the Chainlink Proof of Reserve, 21Shares will verify and publicly show investors its bitcoin reserves data. 21Shares said in a press release that the agreement helps it build out security measures including “maintaining asset integrity and building investor trust."

Bitwise in January became the first ETF issuer to make public their bitcoin reserves. 

With regulators and investors concerned about crypto fraud and theft, securing the cryptocurrency in the fund’s underlying holdings was key to their approval and has contributed to investors pouring billions of dollars into the funds. Many of the funds implemented surveillance sharing agreements between Cboe Global Markets and Coinbase Global Inc. to convince the SEC that their holdings were secure. 

“There is a long history of bitcoin getting lost or stolen when kept in the hands of intermediaries. From Mt. Gox to FTX, many investors who trusted third parties came to regret that decision,” explained etf.com analyst Sumit Roy. “Given that rocky history, anything that adds transparency to an ETF’s bitcoin holdings will be welcome by investors.”

Spot Bitcoin Asset Race

The announcement comes as the ten currently trading spot bitcoin ETFs continue to compete for market share. This week saw a huge influx into the funds as the price of bitcoin skyrocketed. Monday, Feb. 26 was a daily trading record for the spot bitcoin ETFs, according to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.

While brand association, fees, and liquidity all play major roles in which spot bitcoin ETF investors choose, transparency about underlying holdings could be a differentiating factor for some. “Surprised other spot bitcoin ETF issuers still aren’t publishing holdings addresses… Feel like Bitwise is winning “crypto branding” ground game,” Nate Geraci, President of the ETF Store, wrote Feb. 25 on X. 

“This collaboration allows us to offer an unmatched level of insight and safety for our investors’ holdings for ARKB, reinforcing 21Shares’ commitment to leading the way in secure, transparent asset management,” said Ophelia Snyder, Co-founder and President at 21 Shares.

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected]

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.