Tom Lee has always been very adamant about bitcoin, but in a recent interview, he says that the space is way too small for a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) to work.
Lee: Now Just Isn’t the Time
There have been many attempts to get cryptocurrency ETFs approved over the past several years, but none have been successful. One of the ETF proposals that many believed would really pave the way for future bitcoin and blockchain-based products was the ETF application submitted by Van Eck Solid X, the joint venture that ultimately made its first attempt in March of 2017.
That and the second attempt amounted to nothing, but the third seemed to garner attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The proposal was later published for public review and for comment by industry experts. It received widespread acclaim and seemed to spell out a future in which crypto ETFs would become normal, everyday products that traders could enjoy.
Unfortunately, a long string of delayed decisions from the SEC really seemed to take their toll on the proposal. Finally, after more than a year in circulation, Van Eck decided to pull the plug on its own application when it was set to undergo a final decision-making process by the agency.
When Van Eck Solid X didn’t produce the results people were looking for, they eventually turned to Bitwise, which was deemed the second-largest company after Van Eck to produce and submit such an application. That proposal was later flat-out turned down by the SEC, causing many to believe that the future of a bitcoin ETF was over before it even began.
While Lee isn’t necessarily against ETFs, he doesn’t think right now is the time for them. He further praised the SEC for turning the proposals down, saying that the space needs a to grow beyond the $200 billion mark before it can gain any solid ground.
The SEC Is Doing Its Job
The SEC needs to punt the ETF until crypto becomes bigger… The SEC is doing a great job… Demand for an ETF is monstrous… If you’re involved in crypto, the SEC can look like an obstacle. They’re establishing protections for individuals and right now, it’s not convenient for the industry, but if the SEC is someone that people trust, that’s how you get the mainstream willing to get involved in crypto. Institutions aren’t going to touch crypto if they think the SEC isn’t doing a good job.
Lee is most famous for his highly bullish bitcoin price predictions. He made headlines in 2018 when he predicted – despite the currency’s continually falling price – that BTC would end the year somewhere between $15,000 and $25,000. Earlier in 2019, he stated that the year was likely to end with bitcoin trading at $40,000.