“‘But is the bitcoin futures ETF actually the best thing?Honestly, probably not. The approval of a bitcoin “spot” ETF would be better from investors, both from a price tracking and fee structure standpoint. But beggars can’t be choosers in the beginning. So we are likely going to see the bitcoin futures ETFs trading at the start of next week.’”
— Anthony Pompliano
That is Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets and vocal crypto booster, in a recent podcast weighing in on the prospect of a hotly anticipated bitcoin ETF that seemed imminent to bullish investors.
Pompliano’s comments come as bitcoin’s price
has surged to near $60,000 on Friday after Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing sources, that the Securities and Exchange Commission may green light the first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has been vocally advocating for a futures-pegged exchange-traded fund rather than one that is tied directly to the virtual asset bitcoin because he believes that futures markets offer investors better protections.
A parade of bitcoin ETFs have been filed with the SEC after Gensler in August said he would be receptive to a futures-based ETF.
The quest for bitcoin began back in 2013 but a number of applications have been rejected since then by the SEC, which has expressed concerns over the volatile asset in the hands of mom and pop investors.
The fervor for a bitcoin ETF pitched higher on Thursday afternoon, after the SEC’s investor education office sent a tweet warning investors to weigh the risks and benefits of investing in a fund that holds bitcoin futures contracts. Some investors took it as a signal that a bitcoin futures ETF could get approval imminently and the Bloomberg report cemented that view.
However, some crypto purists point to the paradox of owning a decentralized asset, such as bitcoin or Ether
, on a centralized platform, like a fund traded on a public exchange.
On top of that, some bitcoin professionals argue that using futures contracts for an ETF confers additional costs to the end user, which could be mitigated by using the spot market.
Funds that use futures contracts usually buy contracts for the nearest month, or front-month and because these contracts all have an expiration date, the fund administrator must “roll” contracts into the following front-month contract, with the costs of such transfers likely passed on to investors.
In any case, that may not diminish from the fact that a long-anticipated bitcoin ETF, in any form, is near coming to pass for staunch supporters of blockchain and crypto.