‘Godfather of ETFs’ Says Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds Will be Approved ‘No Time Soon’


Reggie Browne, the so-called “godfather of ETFs,” said that Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) will be certified “no time soon,” Business Insider reported Nov. 1. Browne is a senior managing director and head of ETF trading at financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

Founded in 1945, Cantor Fitzgerald focuses on institutional equity, fixed income sales, and trading. The company reportedly has over 5,000 institutional clients, which includes such fields as investment banking, prime brokerage, and commercial real estate.

Speaking at Georgetown University’s Financial Markets Quality Conference in Washington D.C., Browne reportedly said that BTC ETFs will be approved only after the development of a strong regulatory framework in the industry. Addressing the current state of BTC ETFs, Browne stated:

“It’s very difficult for the [Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)] to wrap their heads around a positive approval because there’s no data yet … the markets just aren’t here.”

Earlier today, the CEO of investment management corporation BlackRock Larry Fink made a similar statement. When commenting on cryptocurrency ETFs’ future, Fink claimed that ETFs “ultimately” have to be backed by a government, and that a government will not greenlight such a financial instruments unless it knew the funds were not being used for illicit activities.

Following some widely publicized rejections of BTC ETF applications by the U.S. SEC, the CEO of crypto payment startup Abra Bill Barhydt suggested that the reason the SEC has insofar denied crypto ETFs is because the crypto industry does not fit the applicant archetype. In particular, the SEC has rejected crypto ETF applications because “people who are doing the applications don’t fit mold of who the SEC is used to approving.”

In August, the SEC temporarily rejected nine applications to list and trade various BTC ETFs from three companies, including ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares. The regulator previously denied the application for a BTC ETF by brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The SEC then justified its rejection by saying that “the record before the Commission does not support such a conclusion.”

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