With an exchange-traded fund that follows its price, Bitcoin, the original crypto rebel, is storming into the center of the banking system. Will it, however, hit gold? The largest cryptocurrency in the world increased by 28% in October due to investors’ bets that U.S. authorities would approve a spot bitcoin ETF, sparking fresh demand.
But how much money could such a fundraiser? Judging by the vast range of predictions from market participants, which range from $3 billion on its first day to $55 billion over five years, it’s difficult to say.
“I’m comparing it to gold,” stated Dave Mazza, chief strategy officer of ETF provider Roundhill Investments, noting that spot ETFs had revolutionized the gold market.
Like the introduction of the first gold ETF in the United States in 2006 and the bitcoin futures ETF in 2021, he predicted that the first spot bitcoin ETFs to appear would witness a “wave of buying.”
Large mainstream financial firms like Fidelity and BlackRock (BLK.N) and cryptocurrency-focused companies like Grayscale have submitted proposals for spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stated on Thursday that the agency would review eight to ten applications for new spot bitcoin products. Still, he did not specify when decisions would be made.
Opposing the ETF enthusiasts are conventional investors who have been skeptical about cryptocurrency for a long time and claim novel investment options won’t persuade them.
George Gagliardi, an investment adviser at Coromandel Wealth Management in Lexington, Massachusetts, stated that “not a penny of my clients’ money will find its way into these misbegotten so-called investments.” Gagliardi feels that cryptocurrencies “have no underlying intrinsic value.”
The bitcoin price has increased despite the possibility of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) giving investors direct exposure to the cryptocurrency. Last week, the cost of bitcoin reached $35,198, the highest level since May 2022.
Investors and analysts use almost as many criteria as conclusions to judge the demand for an ETF. These range from the size of the gold ETF industry to the need for products already on the market. The bitcoin markets are also unclear, as price changes are mainly based on investor opinion.
According to U.S. cryptocurrency company NYDIG, the demand for a spot bitcoin ETF is around $30 billion. They adjust to relative volatility and compare the sizes of the bitcoin and gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) at $28.8 billion and $210 billion, respectively.
The arrival of an entirely new asset class on the ETF market is uncommon, according to Todd Sohn, ETF strategist at Strategas Securities. “That makes it tough to figure out exactly how much demand will materialize.”
Since they depend on the price of futures, current bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may not accurately reflect market changes, and the expense of rolling over futures contracts can reduce profits, making them less appealing to many investors.
A starting point for measuring demand, according to Steven McClurg, investment head at Valkyrie Funds, which has filed for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), is the size of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). This open-ended private trust directly holds Bitcoin.
He asserted, “If you look at the current market capitalization of GBTC—$3.2 billion—that’s probably day-one demand” for a spot bitcoin offering.
‘Gone in two years’: 50% of funds The Boston Consulting Group estimates that the combined wealth of financial advisors, pension funds, and other money managers is worth $46.5 trillion, so there may be high demand for a spot bitcoin ETF.
“A portion of wire houses and financial advisors will add their funds to platforms if BlackRock enters the market,” stated Matthew Sigel, head of digital assets research at VanEck, whose spot bitcoin ETF is pending SEC clearance.
BlackRock only said that it is currently seeking final SEC approval when asked about its anticipated spot bitcoin ETF.
The CEO of cryptocurrency company Bitwise Investments, Matthew Hougan, predicted earlier this month during an industry panel that spot bitcoin ETFs will generate $55 billion in revenue in the first five years. His prediction is based on the evolution of demand in smaller regions, including Canada, where spot bitcoin ETFs are currently available.
According to Interactive Brokers chief strategist Steve Sosnick, “large demand” is unlikely to support offerings from all the asset managers fighting for a piece of the action.
Will they all turn out to be successful? Naturally not,” he continued. “The ones with the best marketing will succeed, but half will be gone within two years.”