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

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While the crypto industry celebrated the long-awaited landmark approval of spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States, not everyone was pleased with the decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 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, 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.

The @SECGov‘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…

— Better Markets (@BetterMarkets) January 10, 2024

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,” praising fiat currencies instead.

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

In addition to all the previously existing ways to gamble on #Bitcoin, there are now eleven more ways for speculators to place their bets. The problem for the bulls is now what’s left to bet on? It’s just too bad that Bitcoin itself has no actual real world utility, like #gold.

— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) January 10, 2024

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

Related: SEC did not ‘approve or endorse Bitcoin’ with spot BTC ETF nod — Gary Gensler

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.

The approval of Bitcoin ETFs will inevitably turn out to be a very bad thing for Bitcoin decentralization.

— Chris Blec (@ChrisBlec) January 10, 2024

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