Experts are saying that an American bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) could become “a real thing” in 2021 – but a debate has sparked on social media, with some warning products of this sort may still be some way off.
In a Bloomberg article, authors Claire Ballentine and Katherine Greifeld claimed that the chances of a BTC ETF launching this year are improving, according to market observers, adding that “there’s good reason to think” that demand for the product is high.
Bitcoin ETFs have launched elsewhere in the world, but many bitcoiners believe that should a United States exchange approve a launch, it would give the crypto sector a newfound legitimacy – particularly in the eyes of mainstream investors.
Ballentine and Greifeld pointed out that “crypto fans” have been buoyed by the fact that new American President Joe Biden has nominated Gary Gensler as his candidate for the chair of the regulatory Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), pointing out that Gensler “once taught a class at MIT’s Sloan School of Management called ‘Blockchain and Money.’”
However, they warned,
“Don’t expect a decision until the new chairman is in place between now and July.”
Regardless, the authors said, the “prospect of a first US Bitcoin ETF appears to be rising.”
But on Twitter, opinions on the matter were divided.
Jake Chervinsky, General Counsel at Compound Finance, opined that a BTC ETF would likely not materialize before the year is out, writing,
“If history is a guide, it will take about nine months for an ETF to be approved (or denied), meaning we’re almost out of time to get one by the end of 2021. What’s everyone waiting for?”
Some replied stating that an ETF was not even a big deal anymore. While for some it would signal true mainstream acceptance for BTC, others feel that bitcoin has already broken through into conventional financial sphere.
But VanEck director Gabor Gurbacs disagreed, opining that a BTC ETF “should be approved,” as European nations had already green-lighted such products, setting a precedent. VanEck is one of the companies hoping to launch a bitcoin ETF in America, and last month made another bid to launch an offering.
Gurbacs wrote: “Retail and institutional investors buy bitcoin anyways but with no access to the benefits of being part of the US capital markets.”
And while ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees claimed that “nobody even cares about a Bitcoin ETF anymore,” adding that bitcoin has “matured beyond the trappings of such tradition,” not everyone concurred.
One commentator claimed,
“This is false. As [a] money manager for both retail and institutional, an ETF would make it 10000x easier for retail.”
Meanwhwile, as reported this week, Brazilian asset manager Hashdex said that the Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF is now available for trading on the Bermuda Stock Exchange for accredited non-US investors.
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