Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, appeared on CNBC’s “Fast Money” on 5 January 2024 to discuss the highly anticipated approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF and its implications for the crypto space.

Demirors compared the anticipation for the ETF approval to a “papal conclave,” highlighting the intense interest and long wait involved. She dismissed the notion of this being a “sell the news” event, citing significant inflows into crypto ETPs (Exchange-Traded Products), particularly Bitcoin.

In the last week of 2023 alone, there was an inflow of $243 million into crypto ETPs, with a total of $2.2 billion for the year. She emphasized the continuous demand for Bitcoin, noting rumors of substantial investments by major players like BlackRock. Demirors pointed out Bitcoin’s limited supply as a unique and significant factor driving its demand.

Demirors identified fees as the next major battleground for asset managers. She noted the varying fee structures of different entities, with Fidelity offering a low 39 basis points for their specialty ETF, significantly lower than the expected 70-100 basis points range. In contrast, the Grayscale Trust charges 250 basis points. She also mentioned Invesco and Galaxy offering zero fees until the first $5 billion in AUM, and BlackRock’s expected fee of 80 basis points.

The discussion then shifted to the importance of brand versus fees in the ETF space, given that the underlying asset, Bitcoin, remains the same across different offerings.

Addressing the future beyond spot Bitcoin ETFs, Demirors acknowledged Ethereum as the next likely candidate, citing its popularity and market presence. However, she stressed the need for regulatory clarity and market maturity, especially for other crypto assets beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum. She highlighted Bitcoin’s 15-year history and its established, battle-tested market as a contrast to the less mature markets of other cryptocurrencies.

Demirors concluded by emphasizing the significant investor demand in the crypto space, with over $50 billion in global AUM across crypto ETPs, 75% of which is in Bitcoin. She also noted the growing interest in other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Solana.

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