On January 18, Brian Kelly — who is a well-known cryptocurrency entrepreneur who also regularly contributes on CNBC — gave an interview during the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland. During this interview, he reportedly asserted that there is no possibility that U.S. regulators will approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in 2019. Kelly also discussed the state of digital currencies in general during the interview. He believes that they will fare better than they did last year, and he indicated that the bear market has almost reached its end. Though he also said that prices could still suffer another fall. The reason Kelly believes that this year will be good for cryptocurrencies has to do with tensions around the world. He said that some big financial players are beginning to use Bitcoin as a replacement for gold in hedging against volatility and fluctuations in fiat currencies. Furthermore, Kelly thinks that this year Bitcoin will become better accepted by mainstream investors. In spite of all this, Kelly still insists that there is no chance that the United States will approve a Bitcoin ETF anytime this year. This is important because many believe that approval of a Bitcoin ETF must happen before large institutional investors enter the market. Last year, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) received numerous applications for Bitcoin ETFs, including one from the famed Winklevoss twins. But Kelly thinks none of them will get approved in 2019 because "there is too much that is unresolved." He says that important issues relating to Bitcoin ETFs will take in excess of a year to resolve. Kelly also made other predictions during the interview. For example, he predicts that there will be a new global recession in the coming years as well as another financial crisis. Though he sees this crisis as an opportunity for digital currencies, as many could see them as an alternative to fiat currencies. Last summer, Kelly predicted that a Bitcoin ETF would get approved no sooner than February of this year. At the time, he asserted the reason was that the SEC did not view existing Bitcoin future markets as being mature enough.
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