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Analyst Predicts Vanguard’s Anti-Bitcoin Stance to Soften

2 mins
Updated by Bary Rahma
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In Brief

  • A Bloomberg analyst suggests that Vanguard may soften its position in the coming years about Bitcoin.
  • However, the asset manager announced further plans to remove futures Bitcoin ETFs from its platform.
  • Interestingly, Vanguard remains a substantial investor in MicroStrategy shares, despite it anti-BTC stance.
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Prominent investment firm Vanguard is anticipated to reconsider its current anti-Bitcoin position in the near future. However, recent actions by the asset manager reveal a deepening commitment to this stance.

Eric Balchunas, a senior analyst at Bloomberg, anticipates that Vanguard’s traditionally anti-crypto stance may gradually ease in the coming years.

Vanguard’s Anti-Bitcoin Stance to Soften

Balchunas, acknowledging Vanguard’s historically steadfast position against cryptocurrencies as “on brand,” suggested a potential shift in philosophy.

He pointed to the growing imperative for wealth growth, positing that Vanguard’s pursuit of diversified investments may lead to a reconsideration of alternative asset classes, such as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

“Vanguard’s anti-bitcoin ETF stance is totally on brand and would’ve made Bogle proud. That said, I think they will soften in the coming years as they build their advisory business, they’ll need to have access to alternative asset classes,” Balchunas added.

Read more: Everything BlackRock CEO Larry Fink Said About Bitcoin

Recently, Vanguard drew attention for its decision to restrict customer access to the newly launched spot Bitcoin ETFs. BeInCrypto reported that many Vanguard customers have already redirected their funds to alternative firms in response to these restrictions.

Discontinuing Cryptocurrency Products

Despite industry trends showcasing increased interest in cryptocurrencies, Vanguard is moving in the opposite direction by announcing plans to remove Bitcoin futures ETFs from its platform.

A Vanguard spokesperson reportedly said the firm will no longer accept purchasing cryptocurrency products, including Bitcoin futures ETFs. This decision will allow it to refocus on products that align more closely with its core values.

“In addition to spot Bitcoin ETFs not being available for purchase on the Vanguard platform, effective immediately, Vanguard will no longer accept the purchase of cryptocurrency products, including Bitcoin futures ETFs. This change allows us to focus on offering a core set of products and services consistent with our commitment to serve the needs of long-term investors,” a spokesperson for Vanguard said.

Vanguard’s current stance echoes its historical skepticism towards cryptocurrencies. In 2017, founder Jack Bogle described Bitcoin as a “plague,” underscoring the firm’s enduring reservations towards crypto.

Top Institutional MicroStrategy HoldersSharesDate Reported% OutValue
Capital International Investors1,554,039Sep 29, 202311.37%754,532,553
Vanguard Group Inc1,126,980Sep 29, 20238.24%547,182,598
Blackrock Inc.906,714Sep 29, 20236.63%440,236,847
FMR, LLC489,038Sep 29, 20233.58%237,442,619
Morgan Stanley303,358Sep 29, 20232.22%147,289,409
State Street Corporation244,261Sep 29, 20231.79%118,596,043
Geode Capital Management, LLC241,621Sep 29, 20231.77%117,314,243
Northern Trust Corporation108,075Sep 29, 20230.79%52,473,654
Shaolin Capital Management LLC104,500Sep 29, 20230.76%50,737,884
Susquehanna International Group, LLP102,169Sep 29, 20230.75%49,606,114
MicroStrategy Shares Holders. Source: Yahoo Finance

However, in contrast to its skepticism towards cryptocurrencies, the company has substantially invested in MicroStrategy shares. MicroStrategy, recognized as the foremost public holder of Bitcoin, possesses approximately 190,000 BTC, amounting to a nearly $6 billion valuation.

Read more: Who Owns the Most Bitcoin in 2024?

Meanwhile, Yahoo Finance data shows that Vanguard currently holds over 1 million MSTR shares, worth $547 million, as of September 2023. This makes it the second-largest institutional shareholder in the company, boasting an 8.24% ownership share.

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Oluwapelumi Adejumo
Oluwapelumi believes Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to change the world for the better. He is an avid reader and began writing about crypto in 2020.