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n a recent Bloomberg interview, Swan Bitcoin CEO Cory Klippsten offered insightful perspectives on how the approval and introduction of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may serve to streamline and simplify the initial exposure point that many newcomers encounter when first exploring cryptocurrency investments. According to Klippsten's analysis, ETFs have the potential to reduce complexity and noise at the top of the funnel by providing regulated, easy-to-understand vehicles for gaining initial exposure to Bitcoin.

Image of Cory Klippsten
Image of Cory Klippsten

The Noisy Marketing Landscape Since 2017  

Klippsten points to the last five years as witnessing an onslaught of "noisy" marketing across the cryptocurrency sector, with over $50 billion invested in startup promotions and token sales campaigns seeking investors and users. This chaotic entrance landscape has cluttered the top of the funnel for Bitcoin according to Klippsten, who suggests well-funded marketing schemes have "polluted" the initial exposure point for newcomers. With flashy promises abounding and complex self-custody requirements, the user experience has deterred some who simply want simple, low-cost entry.

How ETFs May Simplify Onboarding

Exchange-traded funds provide a potential solution to this problem of noise and complexity in Klippsten's view. ETFs allow exposure to Bitcoin in a regulated investment vehicle similarly to an IOU, without extensive private key management or self-custody learning curves. They represent a paper claim to the underlying cryptoasset's value. For those solely wanting accessible exposure as a start, ETFs promise a much simpler user experience and more regulated offering relative to the marketing din that has defined the top of the funnel landscape so far. 

Signals Point to Imminent ETF Approvals  

Klippsten believes signals from regulators suggest the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may greenlight the first Bitcoin ETF applications as soon as January 2024. Multiple firms like Fidelity and WisdomTree have applications pending, fueling analyst optimism. Should approvals arrive on schedule, it would support the view that ETFs may start driving the improved onboarding experience Klippsten envisions sooner rather than later.

Bitcoin ETF
Bitcoin ETF

Positive Market Impact Expected

Standard Chartered analysts echo this optimism, with their forecasts incorporating an earlier-than-expected introduction of U.S. Bitcoin spot ETFs. They predict this regulatory catalyst could boost the top cryptocurrency to over $100,000 by end of 2024. More mainstream accessibility provided by familiar ETF wrappers is a demand driver that many investors have long awaited. Regulated products may unlock significant new institutional demand by reducing entry barriers. 

Optimizing the Long Term Growth Runway

In summarizing his outlook, Klippsten frames ETF approvals as a potential watershed moment for simplifying how most will initially engage with cryptocurrencies going forward. By streamlining the complexity and noise atop the funnel through familiar, regulated investment vehicles, ETFs may optimize the overall user experience and support more scalable growth over the long term. While hype and private stakes still have roles to play, bringing order and accessibility to cryptocurrency's initial points of contact for retailers stands to drive its continuing evolution toward widespread adoption according to this perspective. Only by facilitating low-friction onboarding can an innovation truly reach mainstream use.

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