Franklin Templeton CEO: ETFs Poised to Unlock New Opportunities

By Aaron Feuerstein January 22, 2024 In Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ETFs
  • Despite Jenny Johnson viewing Bitcoin as a distraction from blockchain’s potential, her firm’s recent Spot Bitcoin ETF launch saw massive inflows, signalling strong market interest.
  • The CEO of Franklin Templeton highlights Bitcoin’s role as a protective financial tool in unstable regimes, where it’s used as insurance against asset seizure.
  • She also spoke about the complexities of hardware wallets for Bitcoin, despite this it’s worth keeping the phrase ‘not your keys, not your coins’ in mind.

Bitcoin ETFs See Massive Inflows in Early Trading

Jenny Johnson, Franklin Templeton President and CEO, talked to CNBC’s Squawk Box just a short while after the listing of her firm’s Spot Bitcoin ETF. Johnson said “Bitcoin is the greatest distraction from one of the greatest disruptions in financial services, which is blockchain.”

The CEO clarified that despite her statement, she is not against Bitcoin; rather, she is a strong advocate of blockchain technology. However, the Spot Bitcoin ETF has experienced a lot of demand, Johnson thinks this will open a pathway to lots of other ways to invest in the industry.

Franklin Templeton was the first traditional asset manager to launch a tokenised money market fund on the Stellar blockchain, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to crypto.

CEO Shares Bitcoin Insights

Interestingly, Johnson revealed a compelling and somewhat cautionary narrative about Bitcoin’s role in asset security, emphasising its use as a safeguard against political and economic instability. She highlighted cases where individuals, having had their assets seized by eager governments, now view Bitcoin as an insurance policy.


For example, she mentions someone who keeps 50% of their savings in Bitcoin due to concerns about asset seizure.

I remember talking to somebody in Israel who said my parents and their parents had all of their assets confiscated. They keep a portion of it in Bitcoin. So, there’s a fear component to it that is considered almost an insurance or safety component.

Jenny Johnson

ETFs Good Option to Avoid Losing Access to Hardware Wallet

Johnson also voiced her frustration about holding Bitcoin in a hardware wallet, which has its downsides. She said she had tried it but found the process very complicated. Which is why she believes holding BTC in an ETF is much easier.

However, it should be noted that while a Spot ETF buys and holds Bitcoin, the owner of an ETF does not technically have the asset. Essentially if you buy any Spot Bitcoin ETF you buy shares in a fund that directly holds Bitcoin as its underlying asset. You basically own a share of a fund that holds Bitcoin. This arrangement offers exposure to Bitcoin’s price movements without the complexities of direct ownership.

However, the adage ‘not your keys, not your coins’ should not be forgotten. While security around hardware wallets may initially seem complex, it is worthwhile to educate oneself about these technical aspects.

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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