Grayscale CEO on the $30 trillion U.S. advised market for a Spot Bitcoin ETF
Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments, appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on 18 December 2023, where he discussed several key aspects of the cryptocurrency market, including the potential impact of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. and the current state of lobbying efforts in the crypto space.
A significant highlight of the discussion was Sonnenshein’s mention of the $30 trillion U.S.-advised market, which he believes is keenly awaiting the introduction of an SEC-approved spot Bitcoin ETF. He emphasized that the approval of such an ETF could unlock a substantial influx of investment into Bitcoin, tapping into this vast market.
When Sonnenshein refers to the U.S.-advised market, he is likely talking about the segment of the U.S. investment market that financial advisors manage. This includes investments made on behalf of clients by financial professionals who provide investment advice and portfolio management services. These advisors typically manage investments for a wide range of clients, from individual investors to institutions, and they play a significant role in guiding investment decisions and strategies.
Sonnenshein also touched upon the ongoing lobbying efforts in the cryptocurrency industry. He spoke about the importance of educating regulators and influencing legislative actions to create a favorable environment for crypto. He mentioned the formation of a crypto Super PAC aimed at impacting Congress’s stance on crypto-related policies.
Discussing Bitcoin’s price movement, Sonnenshein noted that the appreciation seen in Bitcoin’s price over the year was driven by both macroeconomic factors, like inflation and rising rates, and micro factors, such as Grayscale’s court victory. This combination has fueled optimism among investors about the prospects of a spot Bitcoin ETF. Sonnenshein expressed that there is a lot of focus on this from the investment community as the new year approaches.
Addressing concerns about negative perceptions of Bitcoin by influential figures like Jamie Dimon and certain politicians, Sonnenshein acknowledged these challenges. He argued that personal opinions of CEOs and politicians are distinct from the evolving needs of modern investors and citizens, which include access to new technologies like Bitcoin.
On the same day as Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein’s CNBC appearance, Coinbase highlighted the crucial role of the forthcoming U.S. elections in shaping the future of cryptocurrency. In a blog post, Coinbase underscored the need to elect candidates who are favorable to crypto and implement supportive policies.
Coinbase criticized the U.S. government’s current regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies, labeling it as “regulation by enforcement.” The company argues that this method is unclear and restricts the industry’s growth, ultimately disadvantaging American citizens and pushing innovation and economic activities to other countries.
Coinbase pointed out the significant grassroots support within the crypto community. The company mentioned the Fairshake Super PAC and its affiliated groups, which have collectively raised over $78 million from various companies and industry leaders. This fund is intended to back bipartisan, crypto-supportive candidates in the 2024 elections, representing the interests of the 52 million Americans who own digital assets.
The contributors to the Fairshake Super PAC include prominent entities and individuals in the crypto sector, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Ark, Brian Armstrong, Blockchain Capital, Circle, and Coinbase itself. These contributors are dedicated to the responsible growth of the crypto industry.
Coinbase is backing the ‘Stand with Crypto’ movement, aiming to recruit 1 million members by the 2024 elections. The movement has already garnered substantial support, with over 215,000 advocates signing up in just four months.
Coinbase emphasized the significance of the 2024 elections for the cryptocurrency sector, framing it as a choice between candidates who favor modernizing the financial system and those who support traditional financial institutions. The company highlighted the general dissatisfaction with the current financial system, particularly among younger Americans, who are more likely to back candidates supportive of cryptocurrency.
Coinbase is urging the crypto community to engage actively in the political process. This involves participating in town hall meetings, contacting representatives, making informed voting decisions, and supporting organizations promoting crypto-friendly policies. Coinbase believes that personal narratives and experiences can profoundly influence legislators.
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