Recently, journalist and Bitcoin educator Natalie Brunell spoke to Catherine Wood, Founder, CIO, and CEO at ARK Investment Management, LLC (aka “ARK” or “ARK Invest”). During this interview, Wood discussed various aspects of Bitcoin and the future of spot Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

Wood emphasized the resilience of Bitcoin, particularly during the Regional Bank crisis earlier this year. She noted that while regional bank stocks plummeted, some even going bankrupt, Bitcoin’s value rose from $19,000 to $30,000. According to Wood, this demonstrated that Bitcoin’s decentralized and transparent network eliminates counterparty risk, making it a safe asset.

Wood also touched on the case of FTX, a centralized and opaque network, contrasting it with Bitcoin’s transparent and decentralized nature. She mentioned that FTX’s downfall proved the importance of being involved with a network like Bitcoin.

When it came to the topic of Bitcoin ETFs, Wood expressed her confidence in the research team at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). She felt that the SEC’s hesitance to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF was more likely due to Chairman Gary Gensler’s influence rather than a lack of understanding of Bitcoin’s merits.

According to a report by The Daily Hodl, she said:

“[The SEC] knows so much and they are so good that I believe this was much more Gary Gensler standing in the way. I don’t know for sure because they could never say something like that. I just know from how we have discussed Bitcoin with them – they really understand it, and they understand its merits most importantly.”

Wood criticized the approval of a Bitcoin Futures ETF, which involves counterparty risk, while a Bitcoin ETF backed by Bitcoin one-for-one in cold storage does not have such risk.

Wood speculated that the SEC might approve a group of Bitcoin ETFs rather than just one, leading to a marketing battle among them. She expressed hope that ARK Invest’s extensive research and educational efforts would give them an edge in this competition.

Wood mentioned that ARK Invest is partnered with 21 Shares, the largest crypto ETP provider in the world based in Switzerland. She highlighted the complementary research approaches of both organizations. ARK Invest has been researching Bitcoin since 2015 and has published various papers on the subject. Wood believes that their long-standing commitment to research and education will set them apart in the ETF market.

As for the timing of the approval of Bitcoin ETFs, Wood stated that while most people expect it to happen early next year, it could potentially occur this year.

Finally, Wood briefly discussed the convergence between Bitcoin and artificial intelligence (AI). She recommended tuning into ARK Invest’s crypto brainstorm sessions, which explore various topics, including the relationship between Bitcoin and AI.