Nick Szabo Casts Doubt on Bitcoin ETF Benefits

News and Analysis

While many commentators believe a regulatory approved Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could boost prices of the largest cryptocurrency, blockchain pioneer Nick Szabo says it might cause more problems than it’s actually worth.

In his recent tweet Nick Szabo insists he is not “lobbying for an ETF or for Wall Street-managed money in general.”

The cryptography veteran also said that the recent sell-off by dumb money has or soon will deprecate many opinionated know-nothings in this space, adding that “we don’t need new ones to take their place”.

Nick Szabo also responded to some comments with one user saying he never understood the hype of Bitcoin ETFs and calling them a waste of time, and the other one claiming that if you want Bitcoin to be a global thing, then investors will want something that is easy and regulated.

“They are used to assets are already trust-based like bonds and stocks. OTOH most of the world’s gold is under the custody of its owners. Bitcoin can be even more securely stored than gold. You are losing Bitcoin’s main benefit by trusting somebody else to store it for you,” said Szabo.

As noted by Bitcoinist, Szabo’s words come amid an increasingly sage climate regarding the real benefit of an ETF to Bitcoin’s march to mainstream acceptance.

Having previously championed US regulators greenlighting the nine applications currently under consideration, some industry figures have since suggested an ETF would not be a magic bullet for Bitcoin.

“…Hopefully [HODLers]… will realize Wall St is not [Bitcoin’s] friend,” former Morgan Stanley senior executive Caitlin Long commented about the situation Sunday, while Szabo referenced Cenacle Capital managing director Bill Ulivieri, who said he was “losing respect for the Bitcoin community” over its ETF support.

“Everyone wants an ETF but without the backoffice / hard to borrow/ fail to deliver consequences,” he added. “[It’s] like they want physical stock certificates on [Bitcoin…].”

The recent announcement by New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) it would build and open a digital asset platform by November meanwhile led to further considerations.

Brian Kelly, the CNBC commentator and investment manager, claimed that the appearance of ICE’s Bakkt platform would “significantly help the chances” of an ETF, while social media commentator even suggested it would make an ETF “completely redundant.”

So far, regulators have opted to delay judgment on new ETF applications after refusing Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ submission for a second time last month.

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