Vanguard, one of the world’s largest asset managers with $7.2 trillion under management, has no plans to offer a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) to its clients, according to its chief executive officer.
Tim Buckley, who has been leading Vanguard since 2018, said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday that he does not see bitcoin as a suitable investment for long-term investors. “We’re not pursuing a bitcoin ETF. We’re not pursuing anything in the crypto space,” Buckley said. “We’re a long-term investor. We’re not a speculator.”
Buckley argued that bitcoin is too volatile and unpredictable to be considered a reliable store of value or a medium of exchange. He cited the recent swings in bitcoin’s price, which reached an all-time high of over $66,000 in October, before plunging to below $50,000 in November. “Bitcoin is a fascinating idea, but it’s not something that we would want to put our clients’ money into,” Buckley said. “It’s not something that you can count on. It’s not something that you can use.”
Buckley also raised concerns about the environmental and social impact of bitcoin mining, which consumes large amounts of electricity and generates carbon emissions. He said that Vanguard is committed to sustainable investing and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. “We care about the planet. We care about the people on the planet. And bitcoin mining is not something that aligns with our values,” Buckley said.
Vanguard’s stance on bitcoin contrasts with some of its competitors, such as BlackRock, Fidelity, and VanEck, which have filed applications with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch bitcoin ETFs. These products would allow investors to gain exposure to bitcoin without having to buy or store the cryptocurrency directly.
However, the SEC has not approved any bitcoin ETFs yet, citing concerns about market manipulation, investor protection, and regulatory oversight. The regulator has repeatedly delayed or rejected the proposals from various firms, despite the growing demand and interest from the public.