Despite the SEC declining the Winklevoss Twins’ ETF proposal, the discussion of such a fund is still a hot topic within the cryptocurrency community. CNBC Africa’s “Crypto Trader” show, hosted by Ran NeuNer of OnChain Capital, recently spoke with BitMEX’s CEO regarding what an ETF means for this nascent industry.
Taking into account Bitcoin’s current price action, Ran opened up the interview by asking Arthur Hayes how BitMEX has been performing. For those who are unaware, BitMEX is one of the highest volume cryptocurrency mercantile exchanges in the world, offering up to 100x leverage for traders of the XBT (BTC) contract.
The CEO of BitMEX noted that the exchange has been doing well, as a direct result of the volatility seen in the cryptocurrency markets.
Hayes also added that the exchange had done “four to five times” the amount of volume it had facilitated in the entirety of 2017. This figure took many by surprise, as a majority of other exchanges have been seeing declining volumes. However, taking into account that BitMEX supports leverage trading, it makes sense why this may be the case.
Arthur Hayes Speaks On Crypto-Based ETFs
The Crypto Trader host went on to question Hayes about his outlook on Crypto-backed ETFs. The exchange executive first noted that there are two proposals that have verdict dates set for September, and another two in February 2019. Extrapolating what this information means, Hayes stated that he sees a “50/50 chance that we see some decision in Q3, and again we have another two ETFs looking for approval in February of next year.”
Speaking more on the highly-anticipated VanEck and SolidX’s ETF proposition, the executive said that “I don’t know.” Although those three words may be vague, he later elaborated on this specific proposal. Hayes stated:
“I think at the end of the day that the SEC wants to keep people interested in the financial markets and if retail continues to ask for these particular products (ETFs), at some point they are going to have to approve one of them.”
The CEO went on to call out the gold ETFs, pointing out the industry surrounding one of the most valuable metals in the world is unregulated, so “how could regulators not allow a Bitcoin ETF?”
Later speaking more on the most recent ruling on the Winklevoss ETF, Hayes commended the brothers for laying the groundwork for this aspect of the crypto industry, adding that other issuers will benefit from the work completed by their unsuccessful predecessors.
Ran, seemingly not fully satisfied with that answer, went on to query the industry leader on the SEC’s fears of the “underlying” Bitcoin price manipulation. Hayes brought attention to the fact that the SEC has not shown “empirical evidence” of what the regulatory body sees as manipulation, justifying that this reasoning is just an “excuse.”
What Does An ETF Mean For The Cryptosphere?
BitMEX’s CEO sees that acceptance of such a fund will produce a capital influx from retail investors, as an ETF streamlines the process of onboarding fiat into this industry, stating:
“Retail traders do not want to have to worry about securing a Bitcoin wallet, where do they buy it from, using the different exchanges. So if all they have to do is to click on their E*Trade, Scottrade, Interactive Brokers, 401k (etc.), to buy an ETF that gives them exposure to Bitcoin, but not allow them to experience the risks of holding it, that is a very powerful way for them (retail investors) to get involved”
Closing off his time on the show, Hayes tripled-down on his $50,000 price prediction, expecting that a positive ETF verdict will push the price of Bitcoin to the stratosphere.
While some may be skeptical of his analysis and speculation, Hayes perpetually keeps his ear to the ground of this industry, so it is likely that his statements hold some credence.
Title Image Courtesy of MaxPixel