Bitcoin ETF sails in the boat, which is concurrently pulled back and forth. Some pull ahead convinced it will bring a brighter future, while the rest pull back unconvinced. Andreas M. Antonopoulos, one of the most respected and active personalities within the Bitcoin ecosystem, expresses which side is he on.
In Antonopoulos’ popular video series dubbed “Bitcoin Q&A”, which took place on July 28th, 2018, he referred to the matter as a hot topic that was constantly addressed in his Patreon session. In his own words, he isn’t convinced that Bitcoin ETF is worth all the trouble:
“The idea here is to take a reserve of bitcoins and then make them tradeable instruments that can be traded on traditional markets like stocks. This is a custodial reserve system, where the custodian holds the actual bitcoin and what you’re getting is a share in their fund — not bitcoin. It allows traditional / institutional investors to dabble in the bitcoin price, speculate on bitcoin, without actually holding bitcoin or having to open an exchange account and deal with complex things like keys, addresses, hardware tokens, and all of those things”.
Many Crypto enthusiasts believe that Bitcoin ETF has the potential to attract a massive exposure of this crypto to large capitals. However Antonopulos, in his video questions the level of convenience of a Bitcoin ETF for the ecosystem :
” I’m going to burst your bubble. I know a lot of people really want to see an ETF happen because “to the moon and lambos!” But I think it is a terrible idea. I still think it is going to happen, I just think it is a terrible idea. I’m actually against ETFs.I think a Bitcoin ETF is going to be damaging to the ecosystem.”
“ETFs fundamentally violate the underlying principle of peer-to-peer money, where each user is not operating through a custodian, but has direct control of their money because they have direct control of their keys. Your keys? Your bitcoin. Not your keys? Not your bitcoin. An ETF is a multi-billionaire dollar “not your keys, not your bitcoin” vehicle.”
Antonopulos also noted that eventually a Bitcoin ETF would be approved as there are enough economic interests to push for such instruments. Currently, SEC is considering multiple ETF’s, concurrently the impending approval or refusal of ETF’s have already caused fluctuation in the trading volumes.
Upon the creation of major ETFs, the door for large institutional investors to manipulate prices on a global scale would be wide open. Over and above it will allow the custodian of the Bitcoins exchanged in the ETF to have excessive voting power on key blockchain decisions. Implying that the custodians could make the most beneficial decision for their own interests as they are the real holders of Bitcoin.
“It’s not going to be the end of Bitcoin, it’s just going to cause manipulation of the prices. It is going to cause manipulation of the debates about scaling decisions, and if there are forks it is going to give these parties a very large determining voice in forks. Eventually you’re going to see them split off and form their own corporate version of Bitcoin.”
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