FTX fiasco set the approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs back: Valkyrie investment chief

The chief investment officer at Valkyrie Investments, Steven McClurg, explains how firms are working around a challenging regulatory environment to bring Bitcoin spot ETFs to the U.S. market.

In episode 11 of Hashing It Out, Cointelegraph’s Elisha Owusu Akyaw (GhCryptoGuy) speaks to Steven McClurg, the chief investment officer of Valkyrie Investments, about the state of Bitcoin ETFs and the way forward. 

Regulators in the United States of America have mounted stiff opposition against listing Bitcoin spot ETFs even though Canadian and European regulators have given the green light. McClurg points out that even for the Canadian and European markets, these approvals also took a long time. According to McClurg, the two biggest issues U.S. regulators have with Bitcoin spot ETFs are custody and market manipulation.

The chief investment officer believes that the issue of custody is one that would have largely been dealt with if not for the FTX fiasco, which caused regulators to take a step back to focus on scrutinizing whether custodians are safe before approving more Bitcoin investment products. On the second issue of market manipulation, McClurg believes that similar products in Canada have made a case for why such concerns are invalid.

Locally, companies like Valkyrie Investments are actively working with regulators to answer major questions surrounding the safety of Bitcoin Spot ETFs. McClurg says Valkyrie has been educating regulators on how custody works and sharing notes on due diligence done by the company on various custodians, which picked up red flags in some of the companies that went bust last year.

We performed due diligence on Celsius, Voyager, BlockFi, and FTX, and we never onboarded with them. We decided that they were not safe platforms to be involved with.

According to McClurg, despite the lack of U.S.-based Bitcoin spot ETFs, people in the country can have exposure to spot ETFs from Canada through brokerages.

Related: Bitcoin’s 2023 price action driven by the desire to regain losses, according to professional trader

He also points out that some lawmakers, especially in the House of Representatives, have been receptive to making laws that make it easier to launch Bitcoin spot ETFs. Nevertheless, McClurg maintains a pessimistic outlook on how soon consumers will have access to spot ETFs from the U.S.

We do believe that either in a future administration after the next elections or through legislative action, we will be able to push this forward.

Other topics discussed include:

  • Bitcoin futures ETF vs. Bitcoin Spot ETF
  • Bitcoin mining ETFs
  • General regulatory environment for crypto in the U.S
  • Criticisms of Bitcoin ETFs

Listen to the full discussion about Bitcoin ETFs on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn. You can also check out Cointelegraph’s complete catalog of informative podcasts on the Cointelegraph Podcasts page.

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