Former Blackrock Director Sees Spot Bitcoin ETF Approvals As Early As January Bringing Up To $200 Billion In Assets

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Former BlackRock director Steven Schoenfield says US regulators may approve spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as early as January and that it may be a $200 billion windfall for Bitcoin investment products. 

Schoenfield, now CEO of MarketVector Indexes, is optimistic about an early approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because it hasn’t outright declined applications and instead has opted to postpone decisions while seeking comment, he said at a conference in London this week.

He now expects approval of all applications together, so no one firm has first-moved advantage, within “three to six months.” 

That would be a windfall for managers of Bitcoin assets with new funds of $150 billion to $200 billion flowing into the industry in the short term, potentially doubling or even tripling the current assets managed in Bitcoin products, he said.

BlackRock Faces Tough Competition For Spot Bitcoin ETF Assets

Because Schoenfield expects the SEC to approve all the applications together, he sees a tough battle for market share for his old firm

“As much as BlackRock will try to crush the competition, there’s a good half dozen, maybe eight or nine, other firms deeply committed to tradable digital assets,” Schoenfield said. “So I think BlackRock will be in for quite a fight.”

The SEC on Sept. 29 again pushed back the deadline to approve or deny spot Bitcoin ETFs made by Blackrock and a raft of other fund managers.

Deadlines for deciding on a Bitcoin ETF
Deadlines for deciding on a Bitcoin ETF (Source: Bloomberg/Twitter)

Pressure on the SEC to approve spot Bitcoin ETFs intensified after Grayscale Investments won a landmark court victory over the SEC, when a judge called the regulator’s decision to approve Bitcoin Futures ETFs, but not spot Bitcoin ETFs, ”arbitrary and capricious.”

Four House Financial Services Committee members also have urged the agency to approve the listing of spot Bitcoin ETFs “immediately.”

Research firm Bernstein says approval of spot crypto ETFS will help crypto assets under management surge as much as 13-fold in the next five years to $650 billion. The crypto fund management industry is on the cusp of a transformation from a “cottage industry’’ into a sector with $50 billion in revenues over the period, it said.

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