'It's Virtually Certain': Bitcoin ETF Will Be Approved, Prominent Analyst Argues

Ric Edelman, a prominent financial markets analyst and founder of Edelman Financial Services, recently said that a bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded-fund (ETF) will “certainly” be launched.

Edelman, a cum laude graduate of Rowan University and the recipient of an honorary doctorate, told CNBC (on February 11th):

The SEC [US Securities and Exchange Commission] has several legitimate thoughtful concerns that the industry has to overcome but I'm confident they will. Eventually we will see a bitcoin ETF and it's at that stage that I will be much more comfortable recommending that ordinary investors participate.

Edelman added: "It's virtually certain. The only question is when."

On February 5th, 2019, Dr. Drew Hinkes, an adjunct professor at New York University, had revealed that Robert J. Jackson Jr., an SEC commissioner, has said a bitcoin ETF will “eventually” be approved. Although the commissioner’s interview has not yet been published, Hinkes stated (via Twitter) that the pending crypto ETF proposal may satisfy all of the US securities regulator’s requirements.

"Some Serious Players" Have Entered Crypto Sector

Explaining why a bitcoin ETF proposal has taken longer than expected (by some) to be approved, Jackson was quoted as saying:

Getting the stamp of approval from the deepest and most liquid capital markets in the world is hard, and it should be. Once we make it available to everyday mom and pop investors, we are taking risks that Americans can get hurt.

Meanwhile, Edelman believes: 

We've [now] got some serious players [in the crypto space]. Fidelity has made a major announcement in the custody issue. We've got Kingdom Trust and a number of other very serious players on the custody side. I'm confident that in very short order VanEck or Bitwise will satisfy the custody concern to the SEC.

VanEck Director Explains Why Bitcoin ETF Would Help Investors

On February 3rd, 2018, Gabor Gurbacs, digital asset strategist and director at VanEck (a financial services firm that has prepared several bitcoin ETF proposals), argued via Twitter that a bitcoin ETF “serves the public interest” as it provides:

  • “increased liquidity using the ETF ecosystem”,
  • “lower counterparty risk”,
  • “better valuation & execution practices”,
  • “separation of duties: trading, custody, valuation”,
  • “transparent fees”,
  • “established compliance framework”

According to Tom Lydon, the chief editor at ETFTrends.com, there’s currently huge demand for a bitcoin ETF. He remarked (during the same CNBC interview): 

There is pent-up demand. We interview advisors all the time. Seventy-four percent say they've talked to clients about their interests in bitcoin so they need to step up when this happens because that money is going to go elsewhere.

Kraken OTC Head Says It’s Too Early to Call Bitcoin a 'Safe Haven' Asset

Michael LaVere
  • Kraken head of OTC trading Nelson Minier says it's too early to call bitcoin a "safe haven" asset.
  • Compares the current atmosphere of crypto trading to how Wall Street used to be. 

Nelson Minier, head of over-the-counter (OTC) trading at crypto exchange Kraken, says that it is too early to call bitcoin a “safe haven” asset, despite the cryptocurrency gaining popularity in that regard. 

Too Early for Save Haven Status

In an interview with Nasdaq TradeTalks, Minier compared the current state of bitcoin and crypto-assets trading to how Wall Street used to operate in the past. 

According to Minier, 

Wall Street ain't what it used to be. The first 15 years I was on Wall Street, it was fun. I was very fortunate. I started in the CDS market which feels a lot like crypto. Here you have a lot of financial innovation, a lot of trading. It feels very much like that...there's a lot of energy and enthusiasm about this progress and where it's going.

Bitcoin has been gaining popularity as a so-called “safe haven” asset. According to the growing belief among analysts and investors, BTC is an attractive alternative to fiat and the traditional stock markets as a hedge against economic downturn. 

However, Minier believes it’s too early to label bitcoin as a safe haven, given the high price volatility. 

He continued, 

So, I’m not so sure that it’s a safe haven asset yet, but I do think that it’s starting to act like one. I think that people are starting to portfolio manage, are starting to come in slowly. And when the market is getting shaky you saw Bitcoin rise, I mean, you wouldn’t see that before, it was trading like a risky asset.

Despite calling bitcoin's safe haven status premature, Minier admitted that “we're heading that way for sure.”