Does Vanguard Regret Not Launching a Bitcoin ETF?

Speculation mounts that Vanguard regrets snubbing Bitcoin ETFs following CEO Tim Buckley’s sudden retirement.

Tim Buckley with a confident smile. Sunset and a disappointed Satoshi in the background.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Vanguard snubbed Bitcoin ETF products in January.
  • Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley announces his retirement.
  • Speculation is mounting on whether Vanguard now regrets the snub.

January 10 marked a watershed moment for the industry as the SEC finally relented after years of rejections to approve Bitcoin ETF products. However, the jubilation was marred by several major brokerages snubbing the approvals, including Vanguard, who stated that BTC ETF products do not form part of “a well-balanced, long-term investment portfolio.”

Nearly two months since approval, Bitcoin ETFs consistently attract hundreds of millions of dollars in daily inflows, demonstrating a missed opportunity for brokerages that took the hardline stance. With Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley announcing his retirement on February 29, speculation is mounting that the company now regrets snubbing Bitcoin ETF products.

Legacy ETFs Lead the Pack 

Leading the charge on Vanguard having no regrets is Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, who noted that its flagship $VOO ETF took $15.7 billion year-to-date (YTD,) more than double the biggest Bitcoin ETF, BlackRock’s IBIT, which saw YTD inflows of $7.2 billion. 


Seyffart concluded that Vanguard is “doing just fine” without BTC ETF products in its product lineup.

Morningstar researcher John Rekenthaler supported Vanguard’s stance against BTC ETFs in a recent post, stating, “Sometimes it’s best to just say no.” Rekenthaler expressed the view that cryptocurrencies are speculative rather than a proven investment, particularly as digital assets cannot generate cash flow, meaning the only reason to hold is in the hope of selling higher.

Rekenthaler lauded Vanguard’s track record of emphasizing investor protections over profit-seeking, suggesting they have little incentive to pivot towards the historically volatile crypto sector. 


However, not everyone believes Vanguard’s conservative approach to cryptocurrency was the correct decision.

Does Vanguard Regret Bitcoin ETF Snub?

Rahul Sood, CEO of Irreverent Labs, slammed Vanguard’s overly conservative approach, saying it was a “massive mistake” to leave “billions on the table.” Sood inferred that Buckley’s sudden retirement resulted from him sticking with hackneyed approaches, denting the company’s bottom line.

“Kiwi” mentioned that BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF took the third most inflows in a matter of weeks since its launch, suggesting that it may be a matter of time before IBIT overtakes legacy ETF products.

At the height of the Vanguard Snub, Bitcoin Archive ran an X poll asking how long before Vanguard caves in and begins offering BTC ETF products. Over 13,000 individuals participated, with “less than 6 months” the most popular response, taking 47.4% of the votes.

On the Flipside

  • Vanguard CIO Greg Davis will succeed Buckley in the interim while the Board of Directors looks for a new CEO, suggesting Buckley’s retirement was unplanned.
  • Vanguard is structured so that individuals who invest in the company are the ultimate owners.

Why This Matters

Crypto enthusiasts might view Vanguard’s absence in Bitcoin ETFs as a missed opportunity. However, Vanguard is known for its conservative approach, which automatically rules out unproven and divisive assets, such as Bitcoin. Buckley’s departure potentially paves the way for the company to embrace a more open investment approach.

Learn more leading brokerages, including Vanguard, snubbing Bitcoin ETFs here:

Bitcoin ETF Brokerage Snub Reveals Ongoing Legacy Tensions

Read more about the speculation around secret Bitcoin purchases by a government here:

Bitcoin Buyer: Which Government Is Secretly Stacking Sats?

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Samuel Wan

Samuel Wan is a finance professional turned crypto journalist, known for his insightful reporting on market trends, regulatory changes, and technological developments within the digital asset industry. His ability to simplify complex concepts and report the facts has made him a trusted source in the crypto community. Beyond his writing, Samuel is an active mountain biker and gamer.