If you have followed the Bitcoin industry’s news cycle over the past two years, you likely would have noticed an incessantly recurring trend: Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These financial vehicles, which have yet to appear in U.S. markets, are believed by some analysts to be the catalysts that could propel this nascent market to new heights.
Indeed, an ETF tracking the leading cryptocurrency would give institutions (and possibly retail investors) their first medium for Bitcoin investment.
However, not everyone convinced that such vehicles would be the end all and be all for cryptocurrency investment.
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Bitcoin ETF Hype Unwarranted
Speaking on a CNBC “Fast Money” segment last week, Brian Kelly of BKCM argued that a Bitcoin ETF isn’t essential for continued development and growth in this budding space. While many may take this statement as blasphemous, Kelly went on to back up his comment, drawing attention to the fact that there are other up-and-coming on-ramps.
The industry investor looked to Fidelity and TD Ameritrade — two giants in the American finance realm — adding that “ultimately you’re going to be able to buy Bitcoin in a regular brokerage account, or it’s going to look like a regular brokerage account. So I’m less concerned that you need a bitcoin ETF at this point in time.”
The SEC just knocked back anther bitcoin ETF. @BKBrianKelly breaks it down. pic.twitter.com/C3OfdhG2ru
— CNBC's Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) October 10, 2019
Kelly’s comment is similar to that made by Sasha Fleyshman, a trader at cryptocurrency investment manager Arca. Fleyshman recently wrote on Twitter that the Bitcoin ETFs that are being so heavily lauded aren’t exactly needed, in that that there already custodial and investment solutions that should spark an institutional entree.
I still can't quite comprehend why this space is so incessant on having a #Bitcoin ETF.
With what @Bakkt is doing (physically backed $BTC futures/custody), what @DigitalAssets is doing in terms of custody solutions, etc: why are we so hung up on an ETF for "institutional entry"?
— Sasha Fleyshman (@ArcaChemist) October 10, 2019
These comments come shortly after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) slammed Bitwise Asset Management’s ETF proposal, issuing an over 100-page letter on why they believe that this market isn’t ready for a publicly-tradable fund.
Where We’re Going, There Are No Institutions
CryptoOracle founder Lou Kerner has taken Kelly’s rhetoric further.
Per previous reports from NewsBTC, the former Goldman Sachs analyst said that
Bitcoin doesn’t need institutions to succeed and rocket higher, citing the fact that a majority of the asset’s growth has been retail-based. Kerner even went as far as to say that the institutions will be the followers in this market, not the trailblazers.
Yet, he did admit that institutions will eventually make a true foray into this market, claiming they will be attracted to cryptocurrencies like apples are attracted to the ground.
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