Cathie Wood Says Ether ETF Filings Were Approved Because Crypto Is an Election Issue

Wood said the proposed ether ETFs weren't approved in a regular way.

AccessTimeIconMay 29, 2024 at 5:41 p.m. UTC
Updated May 29, 2024 at 5:44 p.m. UTC
  • Key documents for the proposed ether exchange-traded funds (ETF) were approved suddenly and unexpectedly.
  • The surprise approval and passage of FIT21 in the House indicate how crypto has become an election issue.
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  • AUSTIN, TX — ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood said crypto is now a U.S. election issue, which is why key documents for the proposed ether exchange-traded funds (ETF) were approved suddenly and unexpectedly.

    "The read was it was not going to be approved. It was absolutely not going to be approved," Wood said on stage at Consensus 2024 in an interview with Peter McCormack, host of the What Bitcoin Did podcast. "If it were to have been approved the regular way, we would have been getting questions from the SEC. No one was getting questions from the SEC beforehand."

    Wood, who is also the firm's chief investment officer, said sentiment evolved around the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) in the House. The act passed last week with support from both sides of the aisle, making it clear that this could be an election-year issue.

    "The other thing that happened was former President Trump had become much more cozy with bitcoin and crypto generally. That week, he said he would accept campaign donations in crypto," which got attention from the administration, Wood said.

    Wood also said that while a solana ETF could be approved, meme coin-focused funds are unlikely because wirehouses – the large brokerage firms and investment advisory companies – would not accept more than "the majors."

    Bitcoin as a public good

    Wood also said ARK's position is that bitcoin (BTC) is a public good, and the Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF that was approved in January with a fee of 0.21% would not make money.

    "We should make [the ETF] as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, so keep the fee very low."

    She also announced that ARK will allocate a percentage of its private fund revenues to support Bitcoin developers, ensuring they receive consistent support regardless of the ETF's profitability.

    Bitcoin vs. Ethereum

    Wood is well known for her bullish sentiment on bitcoin, predicting that the BTC price could reach $1.5 million by 2030 and calling it a "financial super highway."

    Although ether (ETH) is having its own moment in the sun thanks to the progress in approving the ether ETFs, Wood didn't hold back in her stance on bitcoin when asked if she would rather hold bitcoin or ether.

    "Bitcoin, hands down. No question about it. It is a global monetary system. It is a technology, and it is a new asset class. Those are three big ideas in one, and nothing else in the crypto world is competing with it."

    Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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