Investment Manager Expects SEC to Approve All Bitcoin ETF Applications in 3-6 Months – Steven Schoenfeld, the former leader of International Equity Product Strategy at Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock), envisions the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granting approval to all spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications within a timeframe of three to six months.
Furthermore, he foresees that the authorization of spot bitcoin and ethereum ETFs has the potential to infuse between $150 billion and $200 billion of capital into these investment vehicles. During a panel discussion at the Ccdata Digital Asset Summit, Steven Schoenfeld, CEO of Marketvector Indexes, shared his perspective on the possibility of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) giving the green light to spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
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Schoenfeld boasts a 36-year career in the investment management industry, having held significant fiduciary roles at Northern Trust. Additionally, he served as the Managing Director and Head of International Equity Product Strategy at Barclays Global Investors (now Blackrock), overseeing a portfolio exceeding $70 billion in developed and emerging market stock index funds and ETFs. Earlier in his career, he led the team responsible for developing the inaugural investable Emerging Market indexes at the IFC/World Bank.
Regarding the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., he predicted: “It’s very likely that all will be approved.” “The AUM potential could double or triple the current amount of AUM in current bitcoin products,” he added. Regarding the SEC’s potential approval timeline for a spot bitcoin ETF, he remarked: “Two weeks ago I would have said nine to 12 months away.” However, he emphasized: “Sitting here today I would say it’s closer to three to six months.”
“For the first time, it was just last week, the SEC, instead of completely rejecting the whole list [of spot bitcoin ETF applications] , they’ve actually asked for comments which is a marginal but significant improvement in the dialogue,” he opined. “There’s also the Grayscale lawsuit which the SEC lost, which means they are most likely going to have to allow the Grayscale GBTC to be converted into an ETF,” the executive noted.
He described: “The sheer size of the U.S. institutional market, financial advisor market, self-directed retail investors — it’s enormous, and to have a product that will be accessible to them, the assets will move into these products.” Schoenfeld continued, “We’ve estimated using some of the statistics that came from when the gold ETF was launched in 2004,” elaborating: “If anything close to that occurs with bitcoin, and potentially ethereum spot ETFs, this could be $150 [billion] to $200 billion of inflow into these products.”
He clarified that the inflow is expected to happen over three years. “That’s three to four times the size of the current product set for listed bitcoin so that will be very significant,” he said. The anticipation for the simultaneous approval of all spot bitcoin ETF applications by the SEC is shared by various parties. JPMorgan recently expressed its expectation that the regulatory body will grant approval to multiple spot bitcoin ETFs simultaneously.
Also, a group of Congress members has called on the SEC to promptly approve spot bitcoin ETFs, asserting that there are no valid reasons for denying these applications. Numerous analysts have also made predictions that the SEC will give its nod to the first spot bitcoin ETF by mid-March in the coming year. Jay Clayton, the former SEC Chair, emphasized last month that institutional investors clearly desire access to BTC and stressed that the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs is inevitable.