Vanguard’s outgoing CEO sticks to anti-Bitcoin ETF stance, despite inquiries

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Vanguard Group’s CEO, Tim Buckley, has maintained his strong opposition to Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) despite facing criticism from customers and ongoing inquiries about the firm’s plans to offer them.

In a recent video published by Vanguard, Buckley cautioned against including Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs in retirement investment plans, due to the asset’s volatile nature.

“We don’t believe it belongs, like a Bitcoin ETF belongs in a long-term portfolio of someone saving for their retirement. It’s a speculative asset.”

Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley discussing his views on spot Bitcoin ETFs. Source: Vanguar

Buckley also contended that Bitcoin as a store of value is questionable, pointing out that during the stock market crash of 2022, Bitcoin experienced a significant decline alongside it.

“When stocks got hammered in the recent crisis, Bitcoin went right with them. And so it is speculative. Really tough to think about how it belongs in a long-term portfolio,” he stated.

In 2021, Bitcoin reached an all-time high of $69,000, surpassed only this week when it reached $73,835. However, in 2022, Bitcoin experienced a sharp decline, dropping to $16,000. 

The S&P 500 fell by 21% in the first half of 2022, with much of the blame linked to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases.

Despite inquiries about when the investment firm might offer spot Bitcoin ETFs to their customers, Buckley stated that the firm is adamant about not changing its stance “unless the asset class changes.”

Related: Wealth manager Cetera adds spot BTC ETFs to it platform, with training

Following the United States Securities and Exchange Commission approving 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs on Jan 10, Vanguard was quick to announce its decision not to offer the product to its customers.

On Jan. 12, Cointelegraph reported that Vanguard has ’“no plans to offer Vanguard Bitcoin ETFs or other crypto-related products.”

Existing customers, particularly those in the crypto industry, pushed back against the decision.

Coinbase’s senior engineering manager Yuga Cohler was among others who said he will be converting his Roth 401(k) savings at Vanguard to Fidelity, one of the approved spot Bitcoin ETF applicants.

“Vanguard’s paternalistic blocking of Bitcoin ETFs does not fit in with my investment philosophy,” Cohler stated on X.

However, even though the company has no intentions of offering a crypto product, it still has significant exposure to Bitcoin indirectly, as it is the second-largest institutional holder of MicroStrategy.

On January 12, Cointelegraph reported that Vanguard held an 8.24% stake in the company.

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