BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF ‘is the best thing to happen’ to BTC, or is it?

BlackRock’s latest filing for a spot Bitcoin (BTC) trust will drive investors’ confidence in Bitcoin and may even be “the best thing that could happen” to BTC, according to some crypto industry observers — but others warn of a hidden cost.

During an interview on June 16, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz said the approval of BlackRock’s ETF application would be “the best thing that could happen to $BTC.”

“I say a Hail Mary every night that Larry Fink and @blackrock pull off a @bitcoin ETF,” Novogratz said on the Fox News segment, according to a tweet by host Liz Claman.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency analyst James Edwards of — a financial product comparison website — told Cointelegraph that the timing of BlackRock’s filing should provide “confidence” in both Bitcoin as an asset and also Coinbase in its upcoming legal battle fight with the SEC:

“BlackRock’s willingness to press on with a Bitcoin ETF at a time when the SEC is on a warpath against crypto is very telling. It shows confidence in Bitcoin’s status as a commodity — rather than a security,” he said, adding:

“It’s unlikely that BlackRock would push forward with an ETF of this nature without serious consultation with regulators and confidence in Bitcoin’s future legal status.”

BlackRock’s intention to use Coinbase Custody to control funds should also be seen as a massive confidence booster for Coinbase as it prepares its legal defense, Edwards explained.

He added that BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager — likely wouldn’t partner with Coinbase had they not been “confident” in Coinbase’s legal position.

The downside

Others argue that the traditional investment giant’s latest moves undermine the “ethos” of decentralized cryptocurrencies, or, that the company may find a way to profit from retail investors.

Investor Scott Melker explained in a June 16 interview that such an approval would be a disservice to crypto-native innovators who built the industry:

“As good as this may be for institutional adoption of the space, it kind of violates the ethos, it is a bit of a dishonest push away from the people who built the industry in the United States.”

Cinneamhain Ventures partner and Ethereum bull Adam Cochran believes that BlackRock will swoop in on the “discounted coins” of retail investors, a theory also shared by Melker.

Steven Lubka, a managing director at Swan Bitcoin, shared a similar view, predicting that BTC will reach $1 million, but few retail investors would reap the rewards because the bulk of BTC will be owned by BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and other ETF issuers.

Melker added that Wall Street firms will continue to move into the space and that U.S. regulators will likely “choose them” over incumbent platforms.

Related: Bitcoin ETFs: A beginner’s guide to exchange-traded funds

ARK Invest, Grayscale, Fidelity, Galaxy Digital, VanEck, Valkyrie Investments, NYDIG, SkyBridge and WisdomTree are among the other investment firms that have applied to the SEC for similar Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ETFs.

Since the news was first reported, the price of BTC has increased 2.2% to $25,584 at the time of writing.

Interestingly, the Fear & Greed Crypto Index increased from 41 to 47 — leaving the fear zone — following the news of BlackRock’s filing.

Magazine: Crypto regulation: Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?

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Written by Brayden Lindrea on 2023-06-17 16:13:23.

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