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Crypto is an election issue - Cathie Wood

Published 30/05/2024, 12:38

The crypto community numbers in the millions, and these enthusiasts are ready to flex their muscle in the upcoming US election. This month, the crypto industry secured several victories that highlighted its outsize impact on U.S. politics and policy in Washington.

According to ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood, cryptocurrency has become a U.S. election issue, attributing the sudden approval of ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to this political shift.

Speaking at Consensus 2024, Wood said, "The read was it was not going to be approved. It was absolutely not going to be approved. If it were to have been approved the regular way, we would have been getting questions from the SEC. No one was getting questions from the SEC beforehand."

Wood, who also serves as ARK Invest’s chief investment officer, pointed out that sentiment evolved around the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) in the House. The act passed last week with bipartisan support, reflecting its impact as an election-year issue.

Another major factor, according to Wood, was former President Donald Trump’s support for bitcoin and cryptocurrency. "That week, he said he would accept campaign donations in crypto," which, she noted, drew attention from the administration.

Wood also discussed the potential approval of a Solana ETF, but she was skeptical about meme coin-focused funds due to the reluctance of brokers and investment advisors to accept anything beyond the primary cryptocurrencies.

In her speech, Wood also stressed ARK’s stance that bitcoin (BTC) is a public good. She mentioned that the Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, which was approved in January with a fee of 0.21%, was designed to be accessible to a broad audience. "We should make [the ETF] as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, so keep the fee very low," she stated.

Wood also announced that ARK will allocate a percentage of its private fund revenues to support Bitcoin developers, ensuring they receive consistent backing regardless of the ETF's profitability.

Wood is known for her optimistic outlook on bitcoin, predicting that BTC could reach $1.5 million by 2030 and describing it as a "financial super highway." Despite the progress in approving ether ETFs, Wood reaffirmed her preference for bitcoin over ether when asked if she would rather hold bitcoin or ether. 

"Bitcoin, hands down. No question about it. It is a global monetary system. It is a technology, and it is a new asset class. Those are three big ideas in one, and nothing else in the crypto world is competing with it," she concluded. 

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