Crypto Fans Cheer Bitcoin’s ‘Watershed Moment’, Critics Sound Alarm
- The SEC approved nearly a dozen spot bitcoin ETFs for the first time on Wednesday.
- Crypto advocates cheered the news while critics of the digital tokens warned of future losses.
- Here’s how investors, analysts, regulators, and other experts reacted to the landmark decision.
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved the listing and trading of nearly a dozen spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds on Wednesday, sparking celebrations among cryptocurrency fans and warnings from skeptics.
Here’s how investors, analysts, regulators, and other experts reacted to the news. Their comments have been lightly edited for length and clarity:
Chamath Palihapitiya, CEO of Social Capital, in an X post: “We built the world’s first nuclear bomb in the 1940s in just over five years. We are the same country that just took more than 10 years to approve an ETF to buy an imaginary coin made up of letters and numbers.”
Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, in an emailed statement: “The approval of bitcoin ETFs is a watershed moment for bitcoin and the entire crypto market. The institutional validation, massive influx of capital, increased accessibility, market integration, and global adoption are powerful catalysts that could send BTC prices to potentially near all-time highs. On a tidal wave of investor enthusiasm, we wouldn’t be surprised if bitcoin hits $60,000 this quarter – and higher moving forward throughout the year. We expect that history will show that the ETF approval will be a significant price driver in the long-term, even if there’s a very short-term sell-off.”
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Finalt, in an emailed statement: “The implications will be important for bitcoin as an asset as well as whether investors feel like it’s the kind of place they can do business. A key question is whether the big boys get involved – and by big boys we mean JPMorgan, and Jamie Dimon has not been keen.”
Mohamed El-Erian, former Pimco CEO, in a X post: “Advocates are right in calling this a ‘game changer’ for crypto as a financial asset/investment, though not as a potential global currency. This SEC decision will do more than deepen and broaden participation in bitcoin investing. It will also help in countering legitimacy concerns fueled by the well-publicized scandals of the last few years, and it will provide comforting cover to some other regulators. As notable as all these factors are for anchoring crypto in the investment world, they do not significantly propel its role as a potential global currency. The outlook here remains more constrained.”
Balaji Srinivasan, former Coinbase CTO, in a X post: “The bitcoin ETF is the spiritual reversal of Executive Order 6102. Back in 1935, they seized the gold. But now, digital gold is back.” (he was referring to former president Franklin D. Roosevelt once limiting gold ownership in the US.)
Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers, in a Yahoo Finance interview: “Are people racing to rush in, is there huge fear of missing out on this bitcoin rally? Probably some, it’s human nature. But is there a real institutional takeup of the product? That remains to be seen. I think it’s incrementally good for demand but I don’t know that the runup that we’ve seen is justified by the incremental demand.”
SEC Chair Gary Gensler in a public statement: “Bitcoin is primarily a speculative, volatile asset that’s also used for illicit activity including ransomware, money laundering, sanction evasion, and terrorist financing. While we approved the listing and trading of certain spot bitcoin ETP shares today, we did not approve or endorse bitcoin. Investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks associated with bitcoin and products whose value is tied to crypto.”
SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw in a public statement: “I am deeply concerned about today’s actions. 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. I am concerned that today’s actions will create the imprimatur of Commission approval and oversight of the underlying spot markets when really no such oversight exists. I am concerned that there will be confusion about what exactly these products are and that investors may infer protections that do not in fact exist. I fear that today we are setting ourselves up for tomorrow’s failure, and it will be the investors that we have a duty to protect who will ultimately pay the price.”