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Vanguard CEO Stands Firm Against Bitcoin ETFs Amid Customer Backlash and Market Volatility

Tim Buckley, the CEO of The Vanguard Group, remains firmly against the introduction of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), despite facing customer backlash and continuous queries about the company’s potential plans for such offerings.

Buckley’s stance was reinforced in a video released by Vanguard, where he warned against incorporating Bitcoin ETFs into retirement investment portfolios, citing the cryptocurrency’s volatile nature.

He asserted, “We don’t believe it belongs, like a Bitcoin ETF belongs in a long-term portfolio of someone saving for their retirement. It’s a speculative asset.”

Further questioning Bitcoin’s reliability as a store of value, Buckley highlighted its performance during the 2022 stock market downturn, where Bitcoin’s value plummeted alongside the market.

“When stocks got hammered in the recent crisis, Bitcoin went right with them.

“And so it is speculative.

“Really tough to think about how it belongs in a long-term portfolio,” he explained.

Despite Bitcoin reaching new heights, with a record value of $73,835 after previously peaking at over $69,000, its value experienced a steep decline in 2022, falling to under $16,000 amidst a 21% drop in the S&P 500 during the first half of the year, largely attributed to the United States Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.

READ MORE: Bitcoin Dips Below Weekly Lows Amid Market Optimism, Traders Eye Bullish Trends Despite Pullback

Buckley made it clear that Vanguard has no intention of shifting its stance on offering spot Bitcoin ETFs to its clientele, stating the firm’s position would only change if the nature of the asset class itself transformed.

This resolution followed closely on the heels of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs on January 10, with Vanguard promptly announcing on January 12, via Cointelegraph, its decision to abstain from offering Bitcoin ETFs or any crypto-related products.

Despite this firm stance, certain Vanguard customers, especially those from the crypto sector, have expressed their discontent.

Notably, Coinbase’s senior engineering manager, Yuga Cohler, announced his decision to transfer his Roth 401(k) savings from Vanguard to Fidelity, criticizing Vanguard’s “paternalistic blocking of Bitcoin ETFs” as incongruent with his investment philosophy.

Yet, Vanguard maintains a considerable albeit indirect exposure to Bitcoin, holding an 8.24% stake in MicroStrategy, making it the second-largest institutional investor in the company, as reported by Cointelegraph on January 12.


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