'We work with regulators, we don't sue them,' says Hashdex CEO about bitcoin ETF

Quick Take

  • Brazilian asset manager Hashdex rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday to celebrate six months of U.S. trading for its $DEFI bitcoin futures fund, the first crypto ETF approved under the Securities Act of 1933.
  • “We work with regulators, we don’t sue them,” said Hashdex’s CEO, referencing the firm’s competitor, Grayscale, which faced off in court against the SEC last week.
  • The firm says its “end goal” is to have the first crypto spot product but that getting there will be “incremental.”

Six months after listing a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund on the New York Stock Exchange, crypto asset manager Hashdex is set on an "incremental" path toward a spot product.

"A spot Bitcoin ETF is inevitable, we just don't know when, in what context," the firm's CEO and co-founder Marcelo Sampaio said in an interview at the exchange.

While difficult to nail down a timeframe, he believes it will happen under the mandate of Gary Gensler, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC was sued by Hashdex competitor Grayscale after the agency rejected a bid to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a spot ETF. The two faced off in court last week, with Grayscale's CEO optimistic about a positive outcome. A decision is expected later this year.

"We work with regulators. We don't sue them," Sampaio said.

Bitcoin rally 

Because Hashdex's ETF was first approved under the Securities Act of 1933, which deals with commodities funds, many saw its approval as a shift coming from regulators. Hashdex said it's betting on incremental changes, even if it takes a while to get there.

"We're losing money on having this ETF, a lot of money. But we're doing it because we know it's the future," said Michael Venuto, CIO and co-founder of Tidal Financial Group, which works as an infrastructure partner for Rio de Janeiro-based Hashdex.

The way crypto markets reacted to the recent collapses of Silvergate, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank showed the "fragility" of the current financial system, Venuto said, adding that bitcoin had been resilient throughout the crisis. 

"Bitcoin has had a massive rally in the face of it because it is a better alternative," he said. "It's just not a perfect alternative yet. It's got to go through development stages."

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