New York City is witnessing an unprecedented surge in Bitcoin (BTC) advertising, marked by Grayscale’s aggressive marketing of its spot exchange-traded fund (ETF). The city’s streets, digital displays, and billboards are increasingly showcasing Bitcoin, indicating a significant shift in the digital currency’s mainstream adoption efforts.
The advertising strategy in NYC, involving traditional, highly visible mediums, marks a departure from the usual digital ad campaigns. The selection of New York for this campaign is strategic, given its status as a financial hub and its diverse demographic, which could amplify the campaign’s impact both locally and globally.
The marketing landscape for Bitcoin ETFs has become increasingly competitive. Over the past few weeks, there have been a plethora of advertisements. BlackRock launched a promotional video for its iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT). This nearly two-minute video features a BlackRock executive explaining Bitcoin’s value and the convenience of investing in their new ETF.
The first major ad by Bitwise debuted on December 18, 2023, followed by campaigns from Hashdex, VanEck, ARK Invest, Grayscale, and Valkyrie. Notably, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund was advertised on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square on January 13. Additionally, several ETF issuers, including Invesco Galaxy and Franklin Templeton, are featuring new Bitcoin ETFs prominently on their websites.
Amidst this backdrop, Grayscale’s BTC Trust ETF has experienced significant outflows, with billions being withdrawn in the past week. This movement has led to increased market volatility and signifies a notable shift in investor behavior towards ETFs. Despite these outflows, spot ETFs have seen substantial interest.
Grayscale’s potential sale of Bitcoin holdings has also influenced market prices. Analysis firm Arkham noted that Grayscale moved over $400 million worth of Bitcoin to Coinbase Prime, possibly preluding a sale. Meanwhile, Bloomberg Intelligence’s Eric Balchunas observed that GBTC shares were trading at a 0.9% discount to their net asset value, likely due to selling pressure.
However, Julio Moreno, a CryptoQuant expert, suggested that the recent Bitcoin price correction is more attributable to traders taking profits than Grayscale’s BTC sales. Moreno refuted the narrative that Grayscale’s actions are primarily driving down Bitcoin prices. While Grayscale sold 60,000 BTC, other issuers acquired nearly 72,000 BTC, likely offsetting the selling pressure from Grayscale’s actions.