Vanguard, the global investment manager with more than $7.7 trillion in assets under management, isn’t offering its customers access to the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that were approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday. The move seemed to take a number of investors by surprise, with many crypto investors on X writing about how they’ve transferred their assets to other brokers.
“While we continuously evaluate our brokerage offer and evaluate new product entries to the market, spot Bitcoin ETFs will not be available for purchase on the Vanguard platform. We also have no plans to offer Vanguard Bitcoin ETFs or other crypto-related products,” a Vanguard spokesperson told Unchained in an email. “Our perspective is that these products do not align with our offer focused on asset classes such as equities, bonds, and cash, which Vanguard views as the building blocks of a well-balanced, long-term investment portfolio.”
In response, these were just a few of the users on X saying they would transfer their retirement accounts out of Vanguard:
Just fully transferred my retirement account from @Vanguard_Group to @Fidelity because Vanguard won't support Bitcoin ETFs, and appears to be manipulating the price of Bitcoin by only allowing people to sell GBTC, not buy.
It's easy, takes just 5 mins. pic.twitter.com/DnzzYu1YPl
— Vanessa Harris (@technologypoet) January 11, 2024
Just transferred my 401k from Vanguard to Fidelity. It took about 15 minutes.
If you have an account with a broker currently blocking access to #bitcoin ETFs, close it and get out.
Make these boomers hurt
— Julian Fahrer (@Julian__Fahrer) January 11, 2024
I have a retirement account with Vanguard.
I called them and they said they will NOT be offering ANY of the Bitcoin ETFs.
I’m working on transferring assets out of there and then I will close my Vanguard account.
— Neil Jacobs (@NeilJacobs) January 11, 2024
Vanguard Not the Only One
Fox Business journalist Eleanor Terrett said on X that Merrill Lynch, which is owned by Bank of America, is also not allowing customers to purchase the ETFs, citing a source. Unchained reached out to Merrill Lynch but hadn’t received a reply by publication time.
The 10 spot bitcoin ETFs crossed $1.3 billion in trading volume by 11:16 am on Thursday after they had a staggered launch into the market. Adding in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which converted into a spot ETF, brought the number up to $2.3 billion, according to Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas.
Vanguard rivals BlackRock, Fidelity and Invesco are among the issuers of the spot Bitcoin ETFs. Investors on social media have also reported making successful ETF trades through Charles Schwab, E*TRADE and JPMorgan Chase.