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Vanguard Customers Threaten To Close Accounts As Fund Management Titan Refuses To Sell Spot Bitcoin ETFs

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Vanguard blocked customers from buying Bitcoin ETFs.
Vanguard blocked customers from buying Bitcoin ETFs.

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Vanguard blocked customers from buying spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on its platform and now some are threatening to move their funds to competitors.

The $7.2 trillion asset manager, the world’s second-largest after BlackRock, said it has no plans to offer BTC ETFs or allow customers to purchase the product on its platform.

The investment product does not align with the company’s focus on ”asset classes such as equities, bonds, and cash, which Vanguard views as the building blocks of a well-balanced long-term investment portfolio,” it told the Wall Street Journal.

The move provoked criticism from customers. Tony Spencer said on X that a spokesperson from the company told him he could not buy the product as it did not align with its investment philosophy.

Coinbase engineer Yuga Cohler said he will move his eight years’ worth of 401K savings from Vanguard to Fidelity. Cohler slammed Vanguard’s decision to block BTC ETFs, calling it “paternalistic.”

Blocking Bitcoin ETFs Shows Crypto Skepticism On Wall Street

“Crypto skepticism is still alive and well on Wall Street,” Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terett said in response to Vanguard’s move to block Bitcoin ETFs.

Despite launching it own BTC ETF, Fidelity issued a disclaimer to users attempting to purchase the shares, reminding them that the ETF is subject to a “Designated Investments Agreement.” Users have to acknowledge they are experienced investors with a high tolerance for risk.

JPMorgan also warns customers who want to purchase BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) ETF that it is a high-risk asset. JPMorgan is an approved participant of BlackRock’s IBIT ETF

Despite Vanguard opting out, trading in spot Bitcoin ETFs got off to a roaring start on Jan. 11 with volume hitting some $4.6 billion and BlackRock raking in more than $1 billion of that.

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