YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) — Merrill (formerly Merrill Lynch), the asset management firm owned by Bank of America, continues to deny US investors access to Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF). According to complaints from the firm’s customers, they are still unable to invest in the asset class ten days after the wealth management giant said it would allow eligible clients to trade Bitcoin ETFs.
For the uninitiated, the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs in the country. On the first day alone, around $4.6 billion worth of the asset class exchanged hands, according to official data. Among these, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust (FBTC) enjoyed the largest attention.
Since their launch, within their first six days of trading, the 11 Spot ETFs have accumulated $16.6 billion in trade. The figure averages about $2.77 billion daily.
However, despite these high volumes, the Bitcoin (BTC) price continues to fall. When writing, the leading cryptocurrency has fallen below the $40,000 mark, exchanging hands at a little over $38,800.
Merrill finds Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds too risky for investors
Recently, one user took to the social media site Reddit to complain that he was shocked that Merrill would not allow them to invest in Bitcoin ETFs.
The trader, who has been a long-term asset management firm client, has also been “steadily accumulating Bitcoin and other crypto for the past few years.” But his attempts to buy the newly-approved asset class were futile.
“I’ve always used Merrill Lynch for my stock trading and thought it would be a good opportunity to buy a few of the ETFs so that I have some Bitcoin exposure in this portfolio that can easily be traded during the next bull run… When I went to go purchase it this week a notification came up saying that these ETFs are too risky and volatile and that they aren’t currently offered to Merrill clients,”
the user complained.
He called the organization and spoke to a “trading expert,” who allegedly told him he gets several daily calls about spot Bitcoin ETFs. The agent also told him he does not think the firm will approve soon.
Refusing to allow traders to invest in Bitcoin ETF could cost Merrill several customers. With competitors like Fidelity offering such services, many traders could take their funds to other wealth managers.
In 2017, the Bank of America, which currently owns Merrill, estimated the Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds market to reach $1.6 trillion. Today, when the SEC has approved BTC ETFs, it is strange that they refuse to offer them to their clients.
Vanguard doesn’t support BTC ETF either
Meanwhile, Merrill is not the only asset manager that doesn’t support Bitcoin ETFs. Vanguard, the second-largest in the industry after BlackRock, has refused to jump on board too. According to several posts on social media platforms, the company has also denied them services.
The company has since confirmed these reports circulating in social media.
“While we continuously evaluate our brokerage offer and evaluate new product entries to the market, spot Bitcoin ETFs will not be available for purchase on the Vanguard platform. We also have no plans to offer Vanguard Bitcoin ETFs or other crypto-related products. Our perspective is that these products do not align with our offer focused on asset classes such as equities, bonds, and cash, which Vanguard views as the building blocks of a well-balanced, long-term investment portfolio,”
the company said in a statement.
While the regulators have come to terms with a spot Bitcoin ETF, some big institutional players still refuse to accept the new realities. Their refusal to adapt, according to some, would cost them dearly.
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