Edgar Su | Reuters
A woman pays for her coffee with cryptocurrency at Ducatus cafe, the first cashless cafe that accepts cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, in Singapore December 21, 2017.
Just over a month ago, the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) took home ETF.com’s “ETF Of The Year” award for delivering on its purpose of serving up access to disruptive technology in 2017, and doing so really well.
Crucial to that recognition was its unique allocation to bitcoin. For much of the fund’s history, that allocation was relatively stable in number of shares, and hovered between 6 percent and 10 percent of the portfolio, according to FactSet data. Bitcoin often led the list of top holdings in ARKK. Only one other ETF on the market offered parallel access to bitcoin — ARKK’s internet-focused counterpart ARK Web x.0 ETF (ARKW).
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Bitcoin, accessed through the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), was a major driver behind both these funds’ returns last year. ARKK and ARKW were each up more than 87 percent in 2017. GBTC itself was up a whopping 1,550 percent.
Here’s the ETFs’ rally last year, and that impressive rally relative to GBTC’s, in two charts: