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Trillion-Dollar Asset Manager Franklin Templeton: There's Obviously Demand for Bitcoin

The CEO of Franklin Templeton, a $1.33 trillion asset manager, says there’s “obviously” a demand for bitcoin, noting that a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is “a better way” to access the cryptocurrency. The executive added: “It’s going to unlock nontraditional, noncorrelated types of asset classes that are going to be interesting for our clients.”

Franklin Templeton Sees Demand for Bitcoin

Franklin Templeton Investments CEO Jenny Johnson shared her perspective on bitcoin and bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in an interview with Fortune last week. The firm reported $1.33 trillion in assets under management as of Oct. 31.

“I think it’s important that we differentiate bitcoin and blockchain. I think that there’s a demand for bitcoin. It has its own use case, and that’s why you’re seeing these ETFs,” she began. Franklin Templeton is among the asset managers who have filed to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The CEO opined:

It’s going to unlock nontraditional, noncorrelated types of asset classes that are going to be interesting for our clients. We also think that it’s going to make more efficient the types of products that you have today.

“ETFs trade all day, but only price twice a day. So, imagine that you build a pooled vehicle on the blockchain. When you transact, you can have the smart contract tell you exactly what the underlying value of those securities is. It’s just a much more efficient way to be able to operate,” Johnson described.

The executive also outlined the asset manager’s various crypto-related projects. “At Franklin Templeton, we developed a tokenized money-market fund. We built a shareholder recordkeeping system on that. We are a node validator, we actually advise on different portfolios. We have passive portfolios and active portfolios. While these are all in their early stages, they demonstrate that we’re big believers in this space,” she shared.

Concerning whether the SEC will approve a spot bitcoin ETF, she opined: “I don’t know. That’s in the hands of the regulators, as they’re trying to figure out the best approach. Their job is to protect the consumers, and I think they’ll do it in time, as appropriate.”

Responding to questions about client interest in a bitcoin spot ETF and potential fund inflows after SEC approval, she stressed:

I think there’s obviously a demand for bitcoin, and I believe a spot ETF is a better way to access bitcoin. As long as they trade, the bid-ask is narrow, it should be a better way to do it. It’s a much more convenient way for anybody interested in investing in bitcoin.

“But I think bitcoin has some challenges. It’s hard to anchor to any kind of investment thesis. It tends to be a risk-on/risk-off type of asset. You just want to make sure clients are responsible in how they allocate bitcoin,” she cautioned.

Johnson also shared some of her crypto picks. “They’re all standard: ethereum, a little bitcoin, sushiswap, uniswap. I have a couple of different things like that,” she revealed.

What do you think about the statements by Franklin Templeton CEO Jenny Johnson about spot bitcoin ETFs and demand for bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

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