Bitcoin ETF Available only for “Qualified Investors” not Retail, says VanEck CEO
September 12th, 2019
VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal is one of the most prolonged application with the Securities Exchange Commission in the US. Recently, the SEC Chairman iterated that it is turning positive towards an ETF, but approval in the near future is unlikely.
Nevertheless, VanEck went ahead with establishing a trust fund that was called “limited ETF.” It raised a lot of criticism because of its misleading name. However, there are places where this acts as an ETF, but only for institutional investors.
Jan Van Eck, the CEO of VanEck the investment banking firm, recently talked about the product and how it is leading towards Bitcoin acceptance. While the product will not be traded on the National Stock Exchange, it will be open to “qualified investors” at OTC desk. He reaffirmed that it would not be available to “retail investors.”
They call it, the “Broker trader fund” or BTC. He said,
Institution has the convenience to buying in their brokerage account with the tax reporting,… He added,
Any individual no matter how rich can buy it. But a hedge fund can buy it, a mutual fund can buy it, an ETF can buy it. ETFs that are available to retail investors can have an allocation to this. But that’s limited by diversification rules.
However, as reported earlier on CoinGape, the product has failed to gain much traction in the first week. It has gathered investment worth only 4 Bitcoins.
Similarities with Gold ETF
While reiterating the intrinsic value of Bitcoin as a ‘safe haven’ like gold, they also drew similarities between the concerns.
The SEC has apprehensions about Bitcoin’s custody and its security. Chris Hempstead, an ETF consultant, said,
But don’t forget that same questions were brought up for physical and precious metals back when those ETFs were launched. How do we know that the gold is in the vault? How can it be proven that my shares are actually backed by gold?
He also questioned gold’s physical safety over Bitcoin’s digital one. He said,
After the 9/11 attacks, the gold that was in those buildings, they couldn’t access it for a better part of the year…
While there have been cases where even Bitcoin have been lost and misplaced. The new age of digital security without the need for setting up vaults in surely a step ahead in custody.
Furthermore, the interview board was reasonably positive about the eventual launch of the ETF. It would require a much broader regulation and accountability from the exchanges.