- BlackRock’s iShares chief said the asset manager has “no current plans” to launch a crypto ETF, Financial News reported.
- Salim Ramji said he is holding back due to the “opaque” regulatory framework and liquidity worries.
- Late Wednesday, Bitwise Asset Management withdrew its proposal to roll out a bitcoin futures ETF.
BlackRock’s global head of iShares said the $US9.5 ($AU13) trillion asset manager has “no current plans” to launch a crypto exchange-traded fund.
In an interview with Financial News, Salim Ramji said he likes cryptocurrencies and believes them to be a disruptive technology.
But he pointed to an “opaque” regulatory framework and liquidity worries as reasons to hold back on a crypto ETF launch.
“Before we wrap or put our brand on it, we want to be certain that clients are going to be happy with us five years from now, 10 years from now,” Ramji said.
The remarks follow BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s recent comments that he saw “huge opportunities” for blockchain technologies, which enable cryptocurrencies.
“We’re studying blockchain and the whole concept of crypto and we believe that will play a very large role,” said Fink when asked whether BlackRock investors will have access to crypto products.
In October, the SEC approved the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first ever bitcoin futures ETF. The fund collected $US1 ($AU1) billion of assets under management in its first two days. Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF launched shortly afterward. Regulators remain resistant to ETFs tied directly to crypto assets.
The funds marked a strong sign for the digital asset space, but costs associated with the futures market have put the creation of more bitcoin futures ETFs in question.
Late Wednesday, Bitwise Asset Management withdrew its proposal to roll out a bitcoin futures ETF, citing the fees and expenses related to the monthly rolling of futures contracts. And earlier, Invesco withdrew its application for a similar ETF.