Vanguard’s perspective on bitcoin ETFs

Tim Buckley: It’s in the news spot: bitcoin ETFs. A question came in, “Hey, we know you’re not offering one. Have you changed your mind? What would it take for you to change your mind?” We don’t plan to, and we’re not going to change our minds around this unless the asset class changes.

For why, first of all, we don’t believe it belongs, like a bitcoin ETF belongs in a long-term portfolio of someone saving for their retirement. It’s a speculative asset.

Greg Davis: That’s exactly it.

Tim Buckley: And the funds that we offer invest in asset classes that actually have underlying cash flow. So like we mentioned stocks, you’re buying the forward earnings of a company.

Greg Davis: Of a company, that’s right.

Tim Buckley: And that bond, I mean—

Greg Davis: Has coupon and principal payment.

Tim Buckley: Hey, you’re going to pay me back and you’re going to pay me something for lending you the money. So they both could be valued. And for us, I don’t understand why they would rise up in a portfolio and the role that we’re playing we can model them. Something like bitcoin is just too volatile and it’s not a store of value. It hasn’t been and it’s very volatile. When stocks got hammered in the recent crisis, bitcoin went right with them. And so it is speculative. Really tough to think about how it belongs in a long-term portfolio.

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