Bitcoin ETF to trigger massive demand from institutions, EY says

Bitcoin (BTC) is in massive demand from institutional investors but awaits a spot BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval to trigger a buying rally, according to a blockchain executive at the professional services provider Ernst & Young (EY).

EY’s global blockchain leader Paul Brody believes that Bitcoin faces a lot of pent-up demand from institutions due to United States regulators not approving a spot Bitcoin ETF for years.

Brody discussed the outlook for the cryptocurrency adoption on CNBC’s Crypto Decrypted on Oct. 23, declaring that trillions of dollars in institutional money are waiting to enter Bitcoin once a BTC ETF is approved.

“But any of these other institutional funds, they can’t touch this stuff unless it’s an ETF or some other kind of regulatory blessed activity,” EY’s blockchain expert said, adding:

“If you look at people who are buying Bitcoin, they are buying it as an asset. They are not buying it as a payment tool. Those who are buying Ethereum, are buying it as a computing platform for business transactions and DeFi [decentralized finance] services.”

Brody’s remarks come amid global investors closely watching the crypto regulatory process by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has not approved a single spot Bitcoin ETF so far. A number of companies, including Grayscale Investments, ARK Investment, BlackRock and Fidelity, have filed with the SEC for multiple Bitcoin ETF products and are awaiting a regulatory response.

Related: Grayscale files for new spot Bitcoin ETF on NYSE Arca

Grayscale, which in August 2023 won an SEC lawsuit for a spot Bitcoin ETF review, has recently filed an S-3 form registration statement with the SEC to list its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust on the New York Stock Exchange Arca.

According to Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, a recent amendment to the spot Bitcoin ETF by ARK Invest and 21Shares is a “good sign” of progress and impending approvals. The ETF expert believes that the ETF amendments filed in mid-October 2023 could be in direct response to concerns the SEC has asked ETF issuers to address.

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