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Despite SEC’s Delay Tactics, Bitwise Positive on Bitcoin ETF

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August 15, 2019 | 

398 Views | 

Darryn Pollock | 

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The CEO of crypto index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management says that even though the SEC is still not jumping at the chance to allow for a Bitcoin ETF, he is positive about it eventually coming through. Bitwise was one of the companies that recently had their application delayed until October. 

Bitcoin ETFs have been in the works in the US since 2017 when the Winklevoss brought the first application forward. The SEC has denied many applications since then, including twice with the Winklevoss twins. However, their reasoning has always been clear, and also remained pretty consistent over the two and a half years. 

The SEC has concerns over the manipulation and volatility of the cryptocurrency market, which all ties to its maturity. That being said, many feel that the market has matured at a rapid rate and should be up to standard now for the SEC. In fact, Bitwise CEO Hunter Horsley thinks that there are big enough advancements to make the SEC change its tune. 

Still positive

The SEC has, in the past, taken its time in deciding if it will allow a Bitcoin ETF through, or not. The result has always been negative thus far, but the fact that they usually delay the decision leads many to feel that a positive decision is close at hand. 

Recently, three more applications were delayed by the SEC, including Bitwises, but this has only spurred Horsley to react positively. He said, in an interview alongside his global head of research Matt Hougan, that the company is remaining positive on their application.

Another reason that the CEO is remaining positive has to do with the effect that a Bitcoin ETF would have on the Bitcoin market. Many have called it the holy grail for Bitcoin investing as it would allow for a whole new sector of traditional investors to enter the market. 

“A key aspect to a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. is that it unlocks the financial advisor marketplace. So far crypto has focused mostly on retail investors [...] or institutional investors [...] Half the money in the U.S. is managed by financial advisors, and right now it’s very difficult for them to access that market,” said Hougan.

What has changed?

Because the SEC has never hidden their reasons for denying and delaying applications, and have had the same issues throughout this process now going on for almost three years, it is easy to predict if things have changed. 

For Horsley, his positivity is based on a few key examples which prove that the market has indeed matured. 

Susquehanna International Group, one of the bigger players when it comes to trading traditional investments like stocks, options, and ETFs, has had a Bitcoin trading desk in operation for a while now. This is a big advancement as it shows a cross over of traditional and crypto.

Additionally, the general market health is also improved, with better arbitrage and new spreads and there is even high-end insurance entering the cryptocurrency space as Lloyds of London now provides cover against theft of cryptocurrencies.

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