Less than half of U.S.-based financial advisers expect a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund to be approved in 2024, a surprising result from the sixth annual survey of crypto sentiment among financial professionals sponsored by Bitwise and VettaFi.

Just 39% of financial advisers reported “think[ing] a spot Bitcoin ETF will be approved in the U.S.” in 2024. Another 46% believe it will be in 2025 or later, and 12% think the U.S. will never make a spot Bitcoin ETF available. The survey reflects the opinions of 437 independent registered investment advisors, broker-dealer representatives, financial planners and wirehouse representatives taken between Oct. 20 and Dec. 18 from across the U.S.

Overall, the advisers reported strong interest in crypto from clients, but also barriers to access and concerns about regulation and volatility.

Despite pessimism among advisors about an SEC approval coming soon, anticipation of spot Bitcoin ETFs is high, as 88% of advisors interested in purchasing Bitcoin are waiting until after a spot Bitcoin ETF is approved. And equity ETFs made up of crypto-focused companies such as MicroStrategy and Coinbase were advisers’ top choice when asked what type of crypto exposure they were most interested in allocating to in 2024, with possible spot crypto ETFs and crypto asset funds being next.

Meanwhile, within the crypto community, expectations have been growing that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will approve a spot Bitcoin ETF by mid-January. Those expectations have been driven by Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart, who have since October predicted a 90% likelihood of SEC approval by Jan. 10, 2024. On Wednesday, after BTC and crypto prices stumbled, Seyffart stood by his prediction.

“The big takeaway from these advisors this year is that, for all the hoopla surrounding the potential approval of a spot bitcoin ETF, it doesn’t appear to be priced in,” said Bitwise CIO Matt Hougan in a press release accompanying the survey. “There’s a massive gap in expectations between advisors and those who monitor ETF developments for a living. Couple that with the fact that almost 90% of advisors say they’re waiting for an ETF before making a bitcoin investment, and you see a lot of demand bubbling just below the surface.”