On Thursday (8 November 2018), Ran Neu-Ner, the host of CNBC's Crypto Trader show, released the video of an interview with Gabor Gurbacs, the Director of Digital Assets Strategy at ETF and mututal fund manager VanEck. This article focuses on the main highlights from this interview.
Q: The whole crypto community has got their eyes set on you guys getting the first Bitcoin ETF. So, how close are you?
A: Well, America wants a Bitcoin ETF... So, we are close... The final deadline that they can approve this ETF or deny it is 2/27 2019 [27 February 2019]. The next decision upcoming is December 29th this year.
Q: So, what's happening on December 29th and what is the February date?
A: [On] December 29th , the SEC may say that we need more time to make a decision on this ETF, and legally, they can push it to the next deadline. The next deadline is the February one that I mentioned, at which point they need to make a final decision of yes or no.
Q: What makes you think you're going to be successful?
A: There are a few reasons, Ran. One of them is VanEck's history of building the right market structures for asset classes. So, in 1955, John VanEck, the firm's founder, built the first international stock mutual fund here in the U.S. In 1968, he built the first gold equity fund, and basically in the past 60 years, we've built market structure and funds for harder to access investment instruments. So, we're doing the same with Bitcoin...
Our ETF, what sets it apart, is
- It's a physical Bitcoin ETF; so, it stays true to the underlying Bitcoin.
- It's fully insured. So, if there are any thefts, hacks, or losses, the insurance covers it.
- The pricing we use for Bitcoin comes from our indexing subsidiary [MVIS], which is a regulated entity and provided the first financial standard in regulated indices.
- The ETF is institutionally oriented. So, 25 bitcoins per basket.
Q: Do you speak to the SEC regularly?
A: VanEck has a 60+ years relationship with the regulators, and we speak regularly with the regulators... I do think that the SEC is open to discussing improvements and proposals with market participants... Right now, the Coinbases and the larger exchanges of the world operate in this semi gray area, and the regulators don't do much about it because they don't want to squash innovation, but at the same time, they want to make sure that the capital markets stay intact. And I think the ETF solved this question of not squashing any innovation and at the same time bring some level of regulation to the digital asset space.
Featured Image Courtesy of VanEck