One of the most common comparisons we’ve seen concerning the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States is the one with the launch of the first gold ETF (GLD) in 2004. Interestingly, comparing the two asset classes’ premieres through their daily attestations reveals some illuminating data.

For clarity and transparency, all data below excludes the Grayscale and ProShares BITO ETFs. Adding Grayscale skews the data due to the enormous volume and substantial value of assets under management due to its conversion from a trust. BITO is removed due to it not being a spot ETF. The BTC Value was calculated using the BRR New York Variant reference rate for each day, as per the ETF prospectuses.

From the table below, we can see that Bitcoin was able to completely obliterate gold’s historic launch volume. On its first day, GLD saw around $265 million in volume, whereas Bitcoin saw almost ten times that, at $2.3 billion. Moreover, while GLD saw a total of $1.32 billion traded, Bitcoin ETFs have seen $3.69 billion in volume.

DayGold Volume Bitcoin VolumeGold (oz)Bitcoin (BTC) Gold Value BTC Value1 $265,475,560.00 $2,326,000,000.00260,00018,390 $114,920,000.00 $858,204,107.102 $520,908,570.00 $864,000,000.001,859,99434,589 $828,806,907.20 $1,513,961,913.563 $537,794,250.40 $505,000,000.002,799,95241,760 $1,253,785,205.50 $1,804,467,974.4

Interestingly, while Bitcoin ETFs have recorded much higher volumes and inflows, the price of the underlying assets saw opposite patterns. Gold rose by 1.3%, while Bitcoin declined by 7.4% during the first three traded days of the relative ETFs. However, just some 12 days after GLD’s debut, gold recorded a local high which was not then surpassed for more than six months.

Below is an extension of GLD’s launch to showcase the first 36 trading days, with the current data for Bitcoin retained for context. With the combined Bitcoin ETF assets under management value at around $1.8 billion, excluding Grayscale and ProShares BITO, it is around $550 million ahead of where Gold was on day three.

However, if you look through the chart, you can see that it took until day 36 for GLD to catch up with this $550 million deficit,

DayGold Volume Bitcoin VolumeGold (oz)Bitcoin (BTC) Gold Value BTC Value1 $265,475,560.00 $2,326,000,000.0026000018,390 $114,920,000.00 $858,204,107.102 $520,908,570.00 $864,000,000.001859994.0634,589 $828,806,907.20 $1,513,961,913.563 $537,794,250.40 $505,000,000.002799952.9841,760 $1,253,785,205.50 $1,804,467,974.44 $140,664,868.002799952.98 $1,254,751,438.195 $272,080,970.403099933.3 $1,390,568,824.086 $138,203,116.203229921.97 $1,456,602,906.167 $170,457,821.203329909.96 $1,502,482,070.508 $174,195,914.903329909.96 $1,509,624,832.889 $175,007,060.003329909.96 $1,507,776,858.6410 $290,265,194.403329699.18 $1,512,255,390.2411 $191,282,072.103329699.18 $1,493,759,189.6312 $140,216,070.403329699.18 $1,508,360,596.1413 $171,163,297.502829802.88 $1,278,328,839.4514 $269,033,368.502929780.58 $1,279,831,486.6015 $155,510,997.602929780.58 $1,280,403,410.7516 $107,054,704.802929780.58 $1,271,307,158.6517 $63,428,329.202929780.58 $1,274,488,086.0318 $97,571,408.202929780.58 $1,280,333,615.9919 $116,211,034.402929780.58 $1,285,886,107.0420 $142,893,529.802929780.58 $1,287,336,889.3721 $83,393,702.002849806.22 $1,250,464,182.3622 $85,858,298.902849806.22 $1,260,539,772.8523 $60,660,331.202849806.22 $1,256,251,296.2424 $119,004,803.102949768.83 $1,300,463,528.8625 $28,264,444.602949768.83 $1,300,744,250.8526 $117,333,792.002949768.83 $1,303,931,835.4027 $34,337,812.002949768.83 $1,303,917,545.7428 $245,620,242.002949768.83 $1,307,737,913.6829 $56,457,398.403049722.19 $1,327,960,347.5730 $204,186,443.203509488.41 $1,536,598,756.8431 $147,681,409.603508826.93 $1,500,610,088.4532 $86,694,401.603508826.93 $1,494,453,263.5633 $107,703,688.403608771.8 $1,531,058,990.5934 $187,942,939.803958574.65 $1,670,970,198.6735 $187,942,939.803958574.65 $1,662,206,494.4836 $189,511,980.704488252.67 $1,890,712,131.56

As an interesting point the consider, GLD held 4,488,252 ounces of gold by day 36, worth $189 million at the time. At today’s value, this is worth $9 billion. Bitcoin ETFs would need to acquire an additional 168,097 BTC to achieve an equivalent value, or 5,093 BTC per day. The last recorded trading data we have showed an inflow of 7,171 BTC into the newborn ETFs on day three.

For reference, the total amount of spot Bitcoin currently under management in the United States through Commodity-Based Trust Shares is 647,651 BTC, worth around $27.9 billion, including Grayscale. Gold ETFs reached an equivalent AUM around February 2009, almost 5 years after launch.

The total value of gold ETFs in the U.S. market as of press time is around $96.9 billion, according to VettaFi’s rankings. Silver comes in next at $12.8 billion, making Bitcoin the second most valuable ETF commodity asset class in the United States.

Editor’s Note: Due to T+1, reporting data is difficult to verify in such a short timeframe, so discrepancies between data providers are to be expected until at least 7 – 14 days’ worth of reports are available. CryptoSlate has used its best efforts to verify and confirm all data used in this analysis. Gold data was taken from the official GLD historical records.