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Bitcoin Should Hit $150,000 Before an ETF Can Work, Fundstrat’s Lee Says

Joanna Ossinger

(Bloomberg) -- The $200 billion cryptocurrency market is far too small for an exchange-traded fund to work, according to Fundstrat Global Advisors LLC’s Tom Lee.

Numerous attempts to get approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for crypto-related ETFs have been stymied, and Lee doesn’t think it’s a bad thing. Big fund launches in the U.S. can have around $13 billion of first-year demand, he noted. He estimates Bitcoin needs to be around $150,000 to cope with daily demand on an ETF. That’s compared with about $8.400 as of 11:30 a.m. New York time -- so the asset would need to rise in price by more than 15-fold.

Read: Bitcoin ETF Proposal to SEC Withdrew by Cboe, VanEck SolidX (2)

“The SEC needs to punt the ETF until crypto becomes bigger,” Lee said in remarks at the Blockshow conference in Singapore on Friday. But “demand for an ETF is monstrous.”

Lee also said “the SEC is doing a great job” in the space -- prefacing that by saying it’s a “very unpopular opinion.”

“If you’re involved in crypto, the SEC can look like an obstacle,” Lee said. “They’re establishing protections for individuals and right now it’s not convenient for the industry, but if the SEC is someone that people trust” to protect them, “that’s how you get the mainstream willing to get involved in cpypto.”

“Institutions aren’t going to touch crypto if they think the SEC isn’t doing a good job,” he added.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at jossinger@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Dave Liedtka, Rachel Evans

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