'We'll be back': VanEck's CEO says they will keep pushing for a spot bitcoin ETF

Episode 79 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Jan van Eck, CEO of VanEck.

Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on AppleSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to [email protected].

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors BakktKraken and Kava

Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information

About Kraken
Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.

About Kava
For over four years, Kava Labs has contributed to building a portfolio of decentralized products and services that allow users to gain access to all of the benefits of DeFi. Kava connects the world’s largest cryptocurrencies, ecosystems, and financial applications on one of DeFi’s most trusted, scalable, and secure earning platforms. Kava lets you mint stablecoins, lend, borrow, earn and swap safely and efficiently across the world’s biggest crypto assets with a simple and intuitive user experience and the full confidence of institutional-grade security and quality. With a proven track record of delivering successful projects safely, the Kava Platform is DeFi’s most trusted, scalable, and secure institutional-grade cross-chain engine.

“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.

History repeating?

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.


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

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.”

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].