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Consensus 2024: Industry leaders discuss digital asset ETF evolution

James Seyffart, Bloomberg’s ETF Research Analyst, discussed the integration, challenges, and future prospects of digital asset ETFs with experts and institutions at Consensus 2024.

“Despite being 240 years old, we’ve continuously innovated, and digital assets are just part of that journey,” said Caroline Butler, Global Head of Digital Assets at BNY Mellon, emphasizing the importance of disciplined scalability in managing $47 trillion in assets.

Institutional adoption emerged as a key theme. “It’s about providing the necessary research for advisors to make informed decisions,” stated Katherine Dowling, Executive Management at Bitwise Asset Management.

Dowling noted the ongoing due diligence process and the importance of educating regulators on operational aspects.

The panel also touched on the rapid developments within the digital asset space. “Developments happen quickly, and we see interesting ways to deploy this technology,” said Cynthia Lo Bessette, Head of Digital Asset Management at Fidelity Investments.

“The success is a win for ETFs as a wrapper, offering superior convenience and safety,” noted Joseph Chalom, Managing Director at BlackRock, addressing the Bitcoin ETF craze.

He talked about the growing client interest and readiness of market infrastructure. “Success is reflected in trading efficiency and client engagement. Institutional and retail demand is strong,” added Lo Bessette.

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“It was unexpected but welcome,” remarked Lo Bessette, discussing the recent Ethereum ETF approvals. “The approval indicates a shift in how the SEC views these assets.” “The change might reflect a campaign issue,” echoed Dowling. “The disapproval order I expected didn’t happen, indicating political influence.”

Regulatory landscape and collaboration were pivotal points of discussion. “Collaboration has been crucial. We’ve teamed up to compete in the future,” remarked Butler, reflecting on the partnership with regulators to drive the ecosystem forward.

Panelists expressed optimism about the potential for other digital asset ETFs. “The success is a win for ETFs as a wrapper, offering superior convenience and safety,” said Joseph Chalom, Managing Director at BlackRock. He also added the growing client interest and the readiness of market infrastructure.

The discussion concluded with a unanimous agreement on the need for clear regulatory guidelines to support the continued growth and adoption of digital asset ETFs.

Read more: Hester Peirce proposes for cross-border digital securities sandbox

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