In a confusing move, Money management firm VanEck, who are leaders in gold-related investment funds, slammed Bitcoin as a fad while simultaneously filing for an exchange-traded fund to invest in Bitcoin derivatives.
It seems that firms such as VanEck can no longer hide from digital currencies, despite their feelings towards it as the high-risk opportunity is too big to miss.
No contest with gold
As a firm heavily linked to gold, VanEck had questions to answer about the so-called digital gold with Joe Foster, portfolio manager and strategist for VanEck's flagship International Investors Gold Fund (INIVX), saying that Bitcoin will never replace gold as a safe haven asset.
"Bitcoin and other digital currencies are a fad that has attracted the attention of programmers, speculators and early adopters," Foster said. "It is my opinion that governments will not allow digital currencies to reach the critical mass needed to challenge the utility of fiat currencies such as the dollar.”
"At best, digital currencies may eventually occupy some middle ground as a niche product," he said. "At worst, they become a failed experiment that ends in tears."
The very next day…
After stating this, VanEck filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a VanEck Vectors Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded fund that would initially invest in Bitcoin futures contracts and trade on the Nasdaq.
Essentially, the fund and its performance is determined by the price movement of Bitcoin and thus affected by the volatility and rate change in the digital currency. It will be an actively managed ETF that seeks to "provide total return."
Fear of missing out
It seems that VanEck is still a firm believer in gold, and perhaps a little worried about the effect of a new digital gold on its primary asset. But they are not foolhardy enough to ignore the investment potential of Bitcoin.
"Joe Foster makes a great case for gold relative to Bitcoin as a currency and store of value," VanEck told CNBC.
"VanEck believes that the technology underlying digital assets, known as distributed ledger technology, has tremendous potential to revolutionize finance and trade. Digital assets are an investable asset class in their own right and continue to be integrated into the broader economy."