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Morgan Stanley, BlockFi Execs Disagree on Spot Bitcoin ETFs

  • Head of Emerging Markets Equity at Morgan Stanley Investment Management promotes digital asset self-custody
  • BlockFi’s Head of Institutional Relationship Management notes the challenges of crypto custody for hedge funds, wealth managers and annuities

Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s head of emerging markets equity is not optimistic about spot bitcoin ETFs and points to the importance of digital asset self-custody.

Amy Oldenburg noted during a panel at Blockworks’ Permissionless event Thursday in Palm Beach that ETFs that invest directly in Bitcoin aren’t necessarily a “solution” to greater adoption in the space.

“If you lived in Russia earlier this year and held a spot bitcoin ETF, how valuable was that to you? It had no value,” she said. “So we need to be able to find solutions that allow people to have access to these underlying assets and allow them to hold them and travel with them and transfer them without having a central custodian.

Panelist Jessica Raybeck, head of institutional relationship management at BlockFi, said that while Oldenburg’s concerns are valid, many institutions have no other point of entry.

“Custody is really difficult for a hedge fund, money manager or pension fund,” Raybeck explained. “But you know what’s pretty easy for her? An ETF or other publicly traded asset.”

While spot crypto exchange-traded products are available in places like Canada, Europe and most recently Australia, the SEC has not yet approved a spot bitcoin ETF in the US.

Raybeck said institutions are still finding out key splitterfor example, or how to deal with the 24/7 nature of crypto markets, bearing in mind that navigating the crypto space can be difficult.

“Do I think we will develop beyond that? I think so,” she said of spot bitcoin ETFs. “But we really have to accept that that was huge [way] where people can access crypto.”

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The Morgan Stanley, BlockFi Execs Disagree on Spot Bitcoin ETFs post does not constitute financial advice.

Source: Crypto News Austria

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