Despite the growing interest in and evolution of the cryptocurrency industry, a Bitcoin-spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) seems to be far off for the US market, as indicated by VanEck's CEO, Jan Van Eck. Speaking at the recent Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami Beach, Van Eck delivered a clear verdict: "No chance."
The VanEck CEO attributed his skepticism to the current legal tussle between Grayscale Investments and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Grayscale is seeking to transform its Bitcoin trust into an ETF. However, according to Van Eck, even if Grayscale emerges victorious, the SEC's habitual stalling could keep a Bitcoin-spot ETF at bay for the foreseeable future. He commented, "Even if the SEC loses the Grayscale litigation, they'll just drag their feet. So I just don't see that in the next year and a half."
Van Eck also referenced the recent filings for Ether-futures-based funds by competitors. Already, three of these were amended or withdrawn shortly after their initial submission. He maintained his belief in the SEC's delaying tactics, stating, "They have so many regulatory tools."
The establishment of a Bitcoin ETF has been a longstanding aspiration within the crypto industry, but the SEC has remained cautious, primarily due to concerns about market manipulation. Several issuers have proposed spot products over the years, only to face regulatory pushback.
Despite these setbacks, Bitcoin-futures funds have been trading since 2021. Anticipated issues that sparked concerns ahead of this launch have largely been mitigated.
VanEck, a leader in the ETF realm, launched the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF (ticker XBTF) in 2021, based on Bitcoin futures. However, a proposal from VanEck for a Bitcoin-holding ETF was dismissed by the SEC at the close of 2021.