Vanguard Dismisses Bitcoin ETFs as ‘Immature’ as New ETF Developments Surface

By Ben Knight January 29, 2024 In Bitcoin, ETF, Vanguard
  • Spot Bitcoin ETFs ignite traditional finance interest, with major institutions exploring crypto products.
  • BlackRock’s IBIT Bitcoin ETF sees success (AUD $4b+ market cap), but Vanguard remains opposed.
  • Vanguard head of ETF capital markets doubles down, calling crypto ‘speculation’ and lacking ‘economic value’.
  • In contrast, analysts suggest Charles Schwab are considering their own product launch.

The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States has lit up the traditional finance world, with several major institutions buzzing with new crypto-related products. The overall financial community has seen a sharp uptick in Bitcoin discussion, both on social media and on traditional news programs. While massive players like BlackRock have seen their funds met with success (with their IBIT Bitcoin ETF ticking over AUD $4bn in market cap), there’s still one big-name fund manager keeping clear – Vanguard.

Head of ETF Capital Markets Says Crypto Has ‘No…Economic Value’

Vanguard has been pretty clear since 11 spot ETFs were approved in January that they had no interest in any crypto-related products. In fact, the financial giants actually pulled access to pre-existing crypto investments that they originally offered. The move, which appeared to some a bit petty, has generated a lot of discussion among the crypto community. 

In response to the heightened dialogue, Vanguard doubled-down on their opinions in a report released by the head of ETF Capital Markets, Janel Jackson, making it clear that they have no immediate plans to flip their stance. 

Vanguard does not have plans to launch its own Bitcoin ETF or any crypto-related products…we do not currently believe that there is an appropriate role for them to play in long-term portfolios.

Janel Jackson

Jackson went on to say that:


Crypto is more of a speculation than an investment…it’s an immature asset class that has little history, no inherent economic value, no cash flow, and can create havoc within a portfolio.

Janel Jackson

Charles Schwab Considers Launching Bitcoin ETF

Unlike Vanguard, Charles Schwab have not been staunchly anti-Bitcoin since the spot ETF approval, allowing the 11 funds to be traded by their customers. However, the AUD $10 trillion-dollar financial institution has not made it clear if they themselves will be entering the game – although rumours are circling suggesting they are.

One senior analyst at Bloomberg believes that Schwab and CEO Walter Bettinger are playing the long game.

They may shock the world and offer something that is 10-basis points in a few months.

Eric Balchunas

Many believe that Schwab’s reluctance to offer an ETF immediately – and miss out on being first-to-market – was a deliberate ploy so they could work on a more calculated, long-term fund that blows the others out the water. Either way, the asset manager’s move into the Bitcoin ETF space shows that Vanguard (and JPMorgan) are on an island in their anti-crypto ideals.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

You may also like