Vanguard Deepens Anti-Crypto Stance After Disallowing Spot Bitcoin ETF Trading — Ark CEO Says ‘It’s a Terrible Mistake’

Vanguard Deepens Anti-Crypto Stance After Disallowing Spot Bitcoin ETF Trading — Ark CEO Says ‘It’s a Terrible Mistake’

Investing giant Vanguard has doubled down on its anti-bitcoin and anti-crypto stance after disallowing investors access to spot bitcoin ETFs approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week. The firm has also announced that it will no longer accept the purchase of cryptocurrency products, including bitcoin futures ETFs. Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood called this decision “a terrible mistake” and “a strategic blunder.”

Vanguard’s Anti-Crypto/Bitcoin Policy Intensifies

Investing giant Vanguard has doubled down on its anti-crypto and anti-bitcoin policy in addition to blocking customers from trading spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) recently approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A spokesperson for Vanguard told Axios Friday:

In addition to spot bitcoin ETFs not being available for purchase on the Vanguard platform, effective immediately, Vanguard will no longer accept the purchase of cryptocurrency products, including bitcoin futures ETFs.

“This change allows us to focus on offering a core set of products and services consistent with our commitment to serve the needs of long-term investors,” the spokesperson added.

When customers saw they couldn’t trade new spot bitcoin ETFs on Thursday, Vanguard stated: “Spot bitcoin ETFs will not be available for purchase on the Vanguard platform. We also have no plans to offer Vanguard bitcoin ETFs or other crypto-related products. Our perspective is that these products do not align with our offer focused on asset classes such as equities, bonds, and cash, which Vanguard views as the building blocks of a well-balanced, long-term investment portfolio.”

Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood called the decision by Vanguard to deny their customers access to spot bitcoin ETFs “terrible.” Ark 21shares Bitcoin ETF is among the 11 spot bitcoin ETFs the SEC approved on Wednesday. The fund started trading on Thursday.

“I think it’s a terrible decision. I think it’s a strategic blunder. And what Vanguard is doing is basically saying: ‘You know, the world’s not going to change. These new financial rails are not going to be successful. We’re still going to have seven middlemen between merchants and consumers, each one taking a toll,’” the Ark executive described. “We just don’t think that’s going to prove correct. Truth always wins out. Innovation solves problems. There’s a lot of friction in the financial system, and we believe that bitcoin, blockchain technology generally, are going to take a lot of the friction out of the system.” Wood opined:

The other reason I think this is a terrible mistake is they are going to deprive the investors who stay with them of, really, the first global, decentralized, private, no government oversight, rules-based — critical phrase there — monetary policy, monetary system in history.

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