Vanguard says Bitcoin is “immature asset class” – CryptoSlate

Vanguard says Bitcoin is “immature asset class” – CryptoSlate

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Vanguard says Bitcoin is “immature asset class” Vanguard says Bitcoin is “immature asset class” Assad Jafri · 2 hours ago · 2 min read

Vanguard rejects Bitcoin ETFs, citing the cryptocurrency’s lack of maturity and alignment with its investment philosophy.

2 min read

Updated: Jan. 28, 2024 at 6:48 pm UTC

Vanguard says Bitcoin is “immature asset class”

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Vanguard decided not to offer clients access to Bitcoin ETFs because the flagship cryptocurrency is an “immature asset class” that does not align with its company philosophy, according to the firm’s executives.

Vanguard Global Head of ETF Capital Markets and Broker and Index Relations Janel Jackson made the statement during a QA session, where she clarified the investment firm’s stance on Bitcoin and digital assets. 

According to Jackson:

“While crypto has been classified as a commodity, it’s an immature asset class that has little history, no inherent economic value, no cash flow, and can create havoc within a portfolio.”

No plans for Bitcoin ETF

Jackson said that Vanguard would not launch a Bitcoin ETF or any crypto-related products, considering the current state of cryptocurrencies as an asset class.

She highlighted that the decision-making process for introducing new investment products at Vanguard is rigorous and prioritizes long-term investment merit and client needs. Despite the growing discourse around Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Vanguard does not view them as suitable for inclusion in long-term investment portfolios.

Meanwhile, the company’s Head of Brokerage & Investments, Andrew Kadjeski, emphasized that Vanguard’s investor base primarily consists of long-term, buy-and-hold investors, and the firm’s offerings reflect these clients’ interests. 

He added that despite the ease of allowing full access to crypto products, such a move would not align with Vanguard’s mission to serve the best long-term interests of its investor-owners.

Both Jackson and Kadjeski reflected on Vanguard’s history of forgoing short-term trends for long-term stability. Vanguard had steered clear of internet funds in the 1990s and more recently removed access to leveraged and inverse funds and ETFs in 2019 and over-the-counter stocks in 2022 due to their high risk and potential for misuse.

Backlash

Vanguard’s stance toward Bitcoin ETFs has sparked significant reactions in the investment community. The firm’s stance, focused on traditional asset classes like equities, bonds, and cash, has led to frustration among some of its clients, particularly those who advocate for including cryptocurrencies in investment portfolios. 

Industry experts have suggested that Vanguard might lose credibility and assets due to its stance on Bitcoin ETFs, as it appears to be a move contrary to the current market trend where many investors are seeking exposure to digital assets.

Notably, other major players in the asset management space, like BlackRock, have embraced Bitcoin ETFs, highlighting a divergence in strategies within the industry.

Despite Vanguard’s resistance to Bitcoin ETFs, some analysts believe the company might eventually soften its stance. The growing popularity of digital assets and pressure from competitors could be influential factors in such a potential shift.

However, Vanguard remains committed to its traditional investment approach, focusing on asset classes that it considers foundational for long-term investment success.

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