Bitcoin is here to stay whether big bank executives like Jamie Dimon like it or not, according to Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnhenshein.
He is the face of the company that leads the world’s largest Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) investment funds. Grayscale is currently negotiating with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve the conversion of each fund into publicly traded ETF products.
Despite the resistance, the company won a lawsuit against the state regulator in August, taking an important step in this direction. But earlier this week, JPMorgan’s CEO said that if he were in charge, he would get rid of Bitcoin entirely.
Sonnhenshein reacted with understanding, but also with rejection. In an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, he said:
“I think every executive, especially in financial services, will have their own opinion on new technologies and whether they are cryptocurrencies or Bitcoin specifically. But if you take a big step back, there is no question that this asset class is here to stay and that investor interest in this asset class is only growing.”
After a big rally above $44,000 earlier this week. Bitcoin is up over 160% year to date. Ethereum is now up 96% to over $2,300.
Sonnhenshein emphasized that assets like Bitcoin “can mean different things to different people” – especially in the context of investing. While some are buying Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and the traditional financial system (much like gold), he believes others will use Bitcoin as a technology investment in a potential low interest rate environment next year.
The Importance of a Bitcoin ETF
Should Sonnhenshein’s Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) be approved as an ETF, it is expected to open a path for institutional investors to invest directly in BTC.
Many companies cannot purchase coins directly because internal statutes only allow them to purchase assets under the cover of a traditional security. Until now, companies that wanted to get involved in Bitcoin had to invest in shares of the crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) or the successful Bitcoin investor MicroStrategy (MSTR) be satisfied.
As more and more capital flows into cryptocurrencies, Sonnhenshein said it is imperative that legacy financial institutions “evolve their business models” to accommodate blockchain. He explained:
“Regardless of what opinions some of these executives may have, these banks and these large institutions need to position themselves for the modern investor. And that includes the introduction of new technologies like crypto.