Bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have been boosted by the prospect of a U.S. spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) that could attract more institutional investors to the crypto market. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not yet approved any of the several ETF applications that have been filed.
Now, two former BlackRock BLK executives have shared their optimistic views on the likelihood and timeline of a Bitcoin spot ETF approval by the SEC. Steven Schoenfield, the former managing director at BlackRock and the current CEO of MarketVector Indexes, and Martin Bednall, another ex-BlackRock director and the CEO of Jacobi Asset Management, spoke at a panel on ETFs at CCData’s Digital Asset Summit in London.
Schoenfield predicted that the SEC will greenlight a Bitcoin spot ETF within “three to six months”, calling it a matter of “when, not if”. He said that he noticed a shift in the SEC’s approach, as it has asked for comments on the ETF applications instead of rejecting them outright. He also mentioned the Grayscale lawsuit, which the SEC lost, as a possible catalyst for the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to convert into an ETF.
Bednall agreed with Schoenfield’s prediction, adding that the SEC will probably approve all ETF applications at the same time to avoid giving anyone a first-mover advantage. He also said that a Bitcoin spot ETF would be a game-changer for the crypto market, as it would provide more transparency, liquidity, and accessibility for investors.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $9.42 trillion in assets under management, is one of the firms that has filed for a Bitcoin spot ETF. BlackRock has a strong track record of success with the SEC for ETFs, having achieved a 575-1 approval rate. However, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink had previously expressed skepticism about Bitcoin, calling it an “index of money laundering” in 2017.