Cointelegraph sat down with Leah Wald, CEO of digital asset investment firm Valkyrie Investments, to learn more about the importance of a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) and the future of digital assets.
For context, Valkyrie Investments launched in 2020 and is one of the few asset managers to have three Bitcoin-adjacent ETFs trading on the Nasdaq. Valkyrie launched a Bitcoin Strategy ETF in October 2021 that provided indirect exposure to BTC with cash-settled futures contracts after approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) for a comparable ProShares ETF. Valkyrie also operates a Balance Sheet Opportunity ETF that invests in public companies with exposure to Bitcoin. In addition, the investment firm’s Bitcoin Miners ETF began trading on February 8, 2022 on the Nasdaq under the ticker WGMI.
According to Wald, Valkyrie is aiming to “take away the mystery of investing in Bitcoin” for new investors. “We want to make sure everyone can participate in this ecosystem,” Wald told Cointelegraph.
Additionally, Wald explained the importance of a Bitcoin ETF, noting that this topic has been important since the Winklevoss twins first filed for a Bitcoin trust. Wald said that a Bitcoin ETF will eventually give access to an asset class for many people who had no access before. Wald also stated that there are several ETFs, such as Valkyrie’s futures-based ETFs and thematic ETFs. While Wald pointed out that we “shouldn’t hold our breath” for a Bitcoin spot ETF – which she calls the “holy grail” – she said it is Valkyrie’s mission to eventually create a Bitcoin spot ETF, noting that the company is “fighting hard and working with regulators” to get there.
In addition to her thoughts on ETFs, Wald commented on how the traditional financial world might view Bitcoin and digital assets. “The most common question is still volatility and how to allocate it accordingly,” Wald said. She added that typical portfolio structures are seen as “bunk” or narrow, which is why traditional finance is calling for a new paradigm shift.
Wald further noted that some of the basic questions she’s received focus on what Bitcoin is, or whether Ether (ETH) is the same as Bitcoin. “I think in our industry we sometimes believe and expect that a lot of individuals are as far down the rabbit hole as we are, but some conversations are still at the very basic level,” she said.
Cointelegraph asked Wald about Valkyrie who recently crossed $1 billion in assets under management. While impressive, Wald believes this demonstrates how fast institutional interest in digital assets is growing. She noted that this represents a “big difference” from when Valkyrie was first launched in 2021. As such, Wald explained that this is a signal that big riches are entering the crypto sector.
Before concluding the interview with Wald, Cointelegraph asked the director to share her price prediction for Bitcoin this year. While she said she is clearly optimistic about Bitcoin, Wald predicts that BTC will reach $70,000 by the end of 2022. “We are very optimistic for the second half of the year and especially Q4. It sounds like we just have to hold on, but we’re aiming for $70,000 by the end of the year.”