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Does The Approval Of The BTC Spot ETFs Make Bitcoin Centralized?
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Does The Approval Of The BTC Spot ETFs Make Bitcoin Centralized?

  • SEC Chair, Gary Gensler claimed that Bitcoin (BTC) is now centralized after approving the BTC spot ETFs.

Gensler’s crypto criticisms have grown sharper since approving Bitcoin spot ETFs for public trading on Wednesday.

The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has doubled down on his criticisms of Bitcoin (BTC) despite approving a slew of exchange-traded funds for the asset earlier this week.

During an interview with CNBC on Friday, the chairman argued that Bitcoin boasts few use cases aside from illicit activity, and has ironically trended toward centralization across time.

See Also: Zurich-based Bank, UBS, Steps Into Cryptocurrency, Trades Bitcoin ETFs

The Irony Of Bitcoin ETFs

Bitcoin descended 6% to $43,500 on Thursday as many investors rotated out of the asset after its highly anticipated ETF launch actually passed.

“Investors, I think, should be aware that the underlying asset is a highly speculative, volatile asset,” said Gensler regarding the ETFs, stressing that the agency does not “approve” or “endorse” Bitcoin.

The chairman expanded on his Wednesday statement explaining the approvals, in which he named “ransomware, money laundering, sanction evasion, and terrorist financing,” among Bitcoin’s alleged use cases. 

Its alleged use cases as a store of value and medium of exchange, he argued, remain suspect.

Furthermore, while Gensler respects certain innovations with blockchain as an “accounting system,” he claimed that there’s a certain “irony” around approving an ETF for a supposedly “decentralized” system.

“Think about the irony of those who would say this week is historic,” he said. “Now you can buy [Bitcoin] through this thing called an exchange-traded product that’s, well, centralized.”

Many within the Bitcoin community share Gensler’s view around ETF products, advising followers to hold their own BTC on a personal wallet where possible, rather than with an ETF.

However, many in the industry argue that ETFs bring Bitcoin access to companies who can’t control coins themselves, and can only own assets packaged within an ETF or securities wrapper.

Mining Centralization

Yet even without an ETF, Gensler claimed there’s “a lot of centralization” with Bitcoin, with particular respect to its mining firms.

“Even the underlying ledger, largely, the Bitcoin is produced by a handful of mining companies and the like,” the chairman said. Rival currencies, by contrast, have a “common economy” that relies on them.

See Also: BTC ETFs Hype Is Over As Bitcoin Price Drops To 2024 Lows

According to Hashrate Index, just two Bitcoin mining pools control over 50% of the network’s hash rate, which is enough to re-write the network’s transactions if both pools conspire to act nefariously.

However, those pools are composed of several other mining firms that can choose to change pools or mine independently at any point.

Last year, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey backed a non-custodial new mining pool aimed at decentralizing the mining industry.

Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.