Spot Bitcoin ETF Marketing Kicks Off With Bitwise Ad

Spot Bitcoin ETF Marketing Kicks Off With Bitwise Ad

The firm aired a commercial on X as approval of a spot bitcoin fund may be imminent.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: Mark Nacinovich

As a deadline to approve a spot bitcoin ETF nears, the marketing war has begun as issuers seek to win a share of a market some experts say will be worth billions of dollars.  

On Monday, Bitwise Asset Management kicked off the race to market to potential investors by showing its first video advertisement on X (formerly Twitter) featuring Jonathan Goldsmith, who tells the audience, “You know what’s interesting these days, Bitcoin.”

The dialogue is a reference to Goldsmith’s notable role as the “Most Interesting Man in the World” in commercials for Dos Equis beer.  

About a dozen firms have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch a spot bitcoin fund, which would be the first ETF to offer investors exposure to physically backed bitcoin, as opposed to bitcoin futures contracts.  

Issuers suspect that the SEC will approve multiple firms at once to avoid giving one firm a first- mover advantage. That means the ETF market for the first time will see nearly identical exchange-traded funds for a novel asset class hitting the market at the same time.  

Matt Hougan, chief investment officer of Bitwise, explained the significant of this unprecedented situation to etf.com. “There's this perception in ETF land that it's 'winner take all,' and that’s built on a history where an ETF came to market first,” he said. “[But what] are the examples where ETFs lined up in Washington all at the same time? 'None.'”  

Spot Bitcoin ETF Race

In its ad, Bitwise was vague about its specific product, not even mentioning a ticker or saying “ETF” to avoid breaking promotion rules. Often, ETF firms go into a quiet period before a fund is approved.  

While there are strict rules for ETF marketing, issuers could begin to take pages out of the book of the crypto world, where companies advertised in the Super Bowl and waged marketing campaigns that caused some celebrities to get into legal hot water.   

ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood told etf.com last month that she foresees a huge marketing blitz upon approval of spot bitcoin funds and said small firms like hers will have to use all their firepower to go up against the giants like BlackRock Inc. and Fidelity Investments. “I'll put ARK’s David marketing team out there against any of the Goliaths,” she said.  

Contact Lucy Brewster at [email protected].  

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.