Bitcoin ETF Approval Is Likely to Benefit Institutional Investors: Goldman Sachs

ETFs offer better investor protection, increased liquidity and lower tracking error than closed-end funds and trusts, the report said.

AccessTimeIconJan 11, 2024 at 9:15 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:44 p.m. UTC
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Institutional investors may benefit from the approval of spot bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as these products will allow them to trade a proxy with low management fees and engage more actively in arbitrage strategies and options hedging, Goldman Sachs (GS) said in a report.

Spot bitcoin ETFs were finally approved in the U.S. on Wednesday, a decade after they were first proposed, in a move that dramatically widens access to the world’s largest cryptocurrency. These groundbreaking products will begin trading today.

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    Other benefits include “investor protection afforded by ETFs, better liquidity compared to BTC access via private funds, given the ability to trade in and out; lower tracking error in comparison to close-ended funds and trusts, ETF vehicle leverages on standard accounting and reporting processes in context of portfolio management,” the report said.

    The bank said investors will also get exposure to BTC without having to assume the risks associated with self-custody, adding that the involvement of household ETF providers such as Blackrock (BLK) and Fidelity lends “experience and credibility in managing these vehicles.”

    Goldman warned that investors should also be wary about potential drawbacks.

    “Time to market and demand across institutional investors may not be immediate,” the bank said, cautioning that “any long-term sustainable demand for spot BTC ETFs will be subject to product suitability and broader market adoption.”

    “Investors do not own physical BTC, and rely on the ETF manager’s ability to effectively carry out the management strategy, which includes a number of risks,” the note said. ETF trading hours are also limited to default market hours, as opposed to the 24/7 continuous trading that is available on crypto native exchanges, the note added.

    Investors should also be cautious about the potential for market volatility following the approvals, the report added.

    Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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    Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.


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