CEO Pantera Capital: Investors are 'overreacting' to bitcoin news

August 9, 2018 12:00 AM
CEO Pantera Capital: Investors are 'overreacting' to bitcoin news

It may be a while before the Securities and Exchange Commission approves a bitcoin exchange-traded fund, but cryptocurrency hedge-fund manager Dan Morehead says investors are overreacting to the news of a delay.

I still think it will be quite a long time until an ETF is approved. The last asset class to be approved for ETF certification was copper, and copper has been on earth for 10,000 years.

The main thing to remember is that bitcoin is very early-stage venture, but has real-time price feed — and that's a unique thing. People get excited about the price and overreact.

Bitcoin fell sharply on Wednesday after the SEC delayed a decision on a proposed bitcoin ETF, which would have been the first of its kind. The move follows the SEC's decision last month to reject a second attempt by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, founders of crypto exchange Gemini, to list shares of their own ETF.

The SEC has also rejected several other attempts to trade bitcoin ETFs, citing concerns about fraud and manipulation of bitcoin.

"The ETF rejection is the same story we've had for five years," Morehead said. "The SEC has been very cautious with an ETF."

Morehead said that instead of panicking over the ETF news, investors should feel optimistic about Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange's cryptocurrency project with partners Microsoft and Starbucks that was announced in early August.

"That's huge news," Morehead said. "That is going to be a very profound impact over the next five or 10 years for the markets, and, to my mind, that's what people should be focused on."

As for the tumbling price of bitcoin, Morehead pointed out that the cryptocurrency is still up about 82 percent year over year.

"It's all perspective," he said.

Bitcoin was last down 6.3 percent at $6,288.30, which still makes it about 82 percent higher year on year, according to Coindesk.