Critics lash out at ‘unsound’ and ‘ahistorical’ spot Bitcoin ETF approval

    11 Jan 2024

    While the crypto industry at large celebrated the long-awaited, landmark approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States, not everyone was pleased with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision.

    In a Jan. 10 statement, SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw — one of two commissioners to vote against the approval — wrote that the agency’s move to greenlight the Bitcoin-based investment vehicles was “unsound and ahistorical.”

    “I am concerned that these products will flood the markets and land squarely in the retirement accounts of US households who can least afford to lose their savings to the fraud and manipulation that appears prevalent in the spot bitcoin markets and will impact the ETPs,” Crenshaw wrote.

    “The global spot markets underlying the Bitcoin ETPs are marred by fraud and manipulation, concentrated, and without adequate oversight.”

    Better Markets, a nonprofit economic organization also didn’t mince words in its criticism of the ETF decision either, describing the asset as inherently worthless and without purpose.

    “The SEC’s action today has changed nothing about this worthless financial product: Bitcoin and crypto still have no legitimate use; remain the preferred product of speculators, gamblers, predators, and criminals; and continue to be cesspools of fraud, manipulation, and criminality,” it wrote in a Jan. 10 post to X.

    Better Markets CEO, Dennis Kelleher penned a letter to the SEC five days earlier, requesting that the agency reject the Bitcoin ETF applications, claiming that the products would “almost certainly lead to […] massive investor harm.”

    Long-time crypto critic Stephen Diehl also weighed in with his take on the cryptocurrency in the hours following the approval, saying that Bitcoin stood for “serfdom, stagnation, and subjugation to the tyranny of the discredited ideas from the middle ages,” and offered praise for fiat currencies instead.

    Gold advocate and Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff added his voice to the mix as well, saying that the approvals were nothing more than a series of new ways for speculators to gamble on Bitcoin.

    “It’s just too bad that Bitcoin itself has no actual real-world utility, like gold,” he added.

    Even some within crypto circles were disappointed by the approvals, arguing it goes against the ethos of Bitcoin.

    Crypto researcher and decentralization advocate Chris Blec wrote that introducing institution-driven ETFs would be detrimental to the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network in the long run.


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