Bitwise Asset Management CIO Matt Hougan believes BlackRock's filing for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund marks a "major narrative turning (point) for the crypto market," he said Tuesday during a Crypto Town Hall conducted via Twitter Spaces.
"I think it sort of can be seen as the dawn of the mainstream era for crypto," Mr. Hougan said, adding however that he wouldn't by any means assign a 100% probability that BlackRock's proposed spot bitcoin ETF is "the one that gets through."
"But I do think you can take confidence that they thought about it carefully," Mr. Hougan said during the event, which was hosted by Mario Nawfal, the CEO of IBC Group;and co-hosted by Scott Melker, aka The Wolf of All Streets; and Ran Neuner, founder of Crypto Banter.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to approve a spot bitcoin ETF. In a June 16 tweet, Bloomberg Intelligence Senior ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas said BlackRock's record of getting ETFs approved by the SEC is 575 to 1.
Mr. Hougan was asked whether he thought BlackRock might care about the risk of having that stat potentially become 575 to 2.
"No, but there's reputational overhead to stepping into the crypto market in general," the he said, adding that he does think it's an important signal that the reputational challenge is low enough now that BlackRock "is willing to step into it."
That wasn't even the case a year ago, Mr. Hougan said.
"But now we have the world's largest asset manager saying that investors should have access to this space in a widely available vehicle," he said. "I do think that's an important statement."