“I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a closed-end fund before a bitcoin ETF,” Cathie Wood, chief executive officer of ARK Investment Management, said. “I don’t think we’ll see an ETF within a year, but maybe within two years and with a lot of education.”
Wood’s actively managed ARK Innovation ETF is the first U.S. exchange-traded fund to have indirect exposure to the cryptocurrency, which it gets through the Bitcoin Investment Trust. The trust invests exclusively in bitcoin and derives its value solely from the price of the asset. But it’s not bitcoin. The ARK fund, which also holds technology stocks like Tesla Inc. and Twitter Inc., is up almost 75 percent this year.
Before bitcoin nestles itself into a U.S. ETF, the world’s fastest growing currency needs to find a regulatory home among the six U.S. financial overseers. Wood thinks that entity will be the Securities and Exchange Commission because she sees bitcoin as a financial security.
Wood also said on Bloomberg TV’s “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas” that she understands the argument for bitcoin being categorized as a currency. And she responded to criticism by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who has bashed the cryptocurrency, calling it a “fraud.”
“Jamie is talking about store of value,” Wood said. “I actually think this has a lot over fiat currencies.”
Unlike JPMorgan, other Wall Street competitors see an opportunity in bitcoin. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein has said he’s open to it. Goldman’s interest encourages Wood because it would bring more liquidity to the market.
“If they start trading in cryptoassets and developing futures and derivatives that is only going to make the ecosystem stronger, which is what the SEC is looking for,” she said.by