Bloomberg’s James Seyffart Offers Latest on Crypto ETFs

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On this episode of ETF Prime, host Nate Geraci speaks with a pair of individuals discussing several different ETF topics. His guests include VettaFi’s Todd Rosenbluth, who discusses VOO’s thirteenth birthday, Vanguard’s ETF success, and more. Geraci also speaks with Bloomberg’s James Seyffart, who gives his insight on spot bitcoin ETFs, as well as several other crypto-ETF-related topics.

Rosenbluth’s Thoughts on Bitcoin News

To open the podcast, Geraci brings on VettaFi’s Todd Rosenbluth to discuss a number of different ETF topics. Geraci opens the conversation by asking for some quick thoughts from Rosenbluth on what we can expect for spot bitcoin ETFs moving forward. Rosenbluth first points out that he and Eric Balchunas, a close associate of podcast guest James Seyffart, have had an ongoing bet regarding whether a release of a product like this will happen in 2023 or early 2024. Rosenbluth believes the latter and is happy to see that Seyffart and Balchunas have begun to agree with him.

“I’m excited to see he [James Seyffart] and Eric Balchunas agree with what I think is going to happen,” Rosenbluth said.

Rosenbluth reiterates that he now estimates that individuals can hope to see a spot bitcoin approval in early 2024. Ultimately, Rosenbluth expects to see multiple spot products trading by VettaFi’s Exchange conference in February of next year.

VOO’s Thirteenth Birthday

The conversation then shifted gears when the pair began to discuss how the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) recently celebrated its thirteenth year in existence. Geraci believes that a notable accomplishment that VOO has made during that time frame is that it has become the third-largest ETF in existence. He then asks Rosenbluth for his thoughts on the success of VOO, and what investors can expect from the fund moving forward.

“Not only is VOO the third largest ETF, but it has been gaining market share on IVV and SPY in the last year,” said Rosenbluth.

Rosenbluth believes that VOO is likely to pass SPY before long, but doesn’t want to put a specific timeline on when it will accomplish it. He highlights that the fund has traded over 4 million shares on average in the past 50 days, and names this as a contributing factor that has made this fund attractive to advisors.

Vanguard’s ETF Success

The duo then segue into discussing the overall success that Vanguard has seen in the ETF world since its entrance into the space. Geraci then states that a bold prediction he has for 2024 is that Vanguard could surpass iShares in overall ETF assets. As of right now, Vanguard is about $200 billion behind iShares, which has around $2.3 trillion in ETF assets. He then asks Rosenbluth if this is a feat he thinks Vanguard can reach in the near future.

“I think we are likely to see SPY get passed [by VOO]probably around the same time, and not much ahead of Vanguard passing BlackRock,” Rosenbluth said.

Rosenbluth is quick to mention that BlackRock is still pulling in a significant amount of money into its products. However, overall, Rosenbluth is impressed with Vanguard’s success in the ETF space, and specifically mentions that he is impressed with the firm’s fixed income ETF suite. He highlights funds like the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) and the Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (BNDX) as products that have seen a significant amount of inflows this year and as funds overall he has been impressed with.

Rosenbluth also mentions that Vanguard will be speaking at the upcoming Income Strategy Symposium about some of their fixed income strategies. In addition, the pair discussed several other ETF-related topics, including other firms that will be participating in the Income Strategy Symposium on Friday, October 27, 2023.

Spot Bitcoin ETFs

To close the podcast, Geraci brings on James Seyffart, an ETF research analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, to discuss several different crypto-related ETF topics. Geraci highlights that he feels there isn’t a more qualified individual than Seyffart to give insight into this style of ETFs. The pair discuss how the cryptomarket has changed dramatically this year, with several different breaking news stories that have affected the market. The pair then go on to discuss the amount of chatter around iShares’ filing for a spot bitcoin ETF, and when it could possibly come to market.

“There is no set timing…They could not list for a long time,” said Seyffart.

Seyffart highlights that, despite all the recent rumblings, and actions taken by BlackRock, it doesn’t necessarily mean a fund will immediately come to market. He mentions how he has seen ETFs in the past take all the steps that iShares has, and ultimately not come to fruition. In addition to discussing spot bitcoin ETFs, Seyffart and Geraci discuss several other topics surrounding crypto-related ETFs.