CNBC Fast Money’s bitcoin bull Brian Kelly sees a Bitcoin rally as just one hurdle away: ETF approval. Although, he does not see this as likely until August 2019.
The Big Hurdle
Getting the first Bitcoin ETF approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has become a competition between those fighting for the trophy, as well as for Kelly, the biggest hurdle in seeing a real Bitcoin bull market emerge. He fears that any delay, rejection, or request to withdraw could postpone any substantial price appreciation.
Kelly noted that last years SEC rejection of the Winklevoss brothers ETF actually became a boost for altcoins. Right now, he recognized, the market is flat for altcoins like Ethereum and Ripple. But, this could be because all the new money is flowing into Bitcoin. While part of this may be accounted for by people spending fiat on Bitcoin to then purchase altcoins, Kelly estimates that it is more likely to be coming from investors counting on an ETF approval.
If the ETF applications are rejected or delayed, he predicts that the alt market could experience a capital influx as some investors leave Bitcoin. Kelly pointed to the year’s overall growth in the cryptocurrency market, which saw the movements of Bitcoin and altcoins tightly correlated, with the former outperforming throughout August.
Be cautious to buy Bitcoin today if you are counting on an imminent ETF approval, he warned investors. As a short-term trader, Kelly said he had just sold off some of his Bitcoin holdings.
ETF: For Retail Traders or Not?
As the hosts queried whether an ETF would benefit retail investors, Kelly noted that VanEck’s USD 200,000 share price was likely to weed out any potential for them, and rather serve institutional players.
The SEC gave prospective providers 31 points needed to be met to receive approval, with one of these being protections for retail investors. It would seem that Vaneck responded to this by raising the costs to such an extent that they are cut out of the market.
One issue that the Fast Money hosts did not think had been addressed yet remains the problem of providing a sufficient custodial service, with Kelly citing this as a significant reason why approval is not imminent.
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