Episode 77 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Jan van Eck, CEO of VanEck.
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“We’ll be back.”
This November, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected a proposal to list a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) from VanEck, only to approve VanEck’s bitcoin futures-based fund a few days later.
While VanEck may not have been able to launch a spot ETF at the time, the firm sees a silver lining in the reaction from policymakers in Congress.
“For the SEC to have gotten a letter from both a Republican and a Democrat in favor of approval of the Bitcoin ETF was, to me was very positive in the absence of a lot of negative noise around the approval,” VanEck CEO Jan van Eck said during the latest episode of The Scoop podcast.
Van Eck also discussed why the firm remains undeterred in bringing more crypto funds to market, and what’s next for the ETF giant. He explained that while the SEC ruling on the spot ETF wasn’t surprising, the firm expects to submit more bitcoin funds for approval. In the meantime, VanEck is working on expanding its current crypto offerings in Europe, which includes five exchange-traded notes, with a focus on wrapping tokens.
But van Eck went on to note that the rejection of spot bitcoin ETfs may be similar to the initial pushback against gold bullion ETFs.
He observed that the government initially also rejected gold bullion ETFs, while they were quick to approve gold futures funds.
In this respect, van Eck contended that the SEC is exhibiting a double standard over bitcoin ETFs, with the agency wanting jurisdiction over crypto-cash markets. “It did not require that meaningfully for a gold ETF or a dry bulk shipping ETF,” he said.
From a macro perspective, however, van Eck acknowledged that while he believes governments view digital assets as “incredibly threatening” — citing China’s ban on crypto trading and mining earlier this year — he is encouraged by other regulatory movements in the space.
“I would say in a way the SEC could be way more aggressive in pursuing the industry than it has been,” he said, adding:
“I think policymakers want to be pro-innovation. And I think in that sense, it’s really been a great year for the industry in the US.”
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