A group of high-powered Wall Street-allied crypto exchanges—among them VanEck, SolidX, and Cboe BZX —took to the SEC on Friday to make the case for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which investors believe would inject a massive influx of institutional money into the market. And pull us out of this bear market forever and ever, amen.
Obviously, the ETF proposal has been dismissed offhand so many times it seems folly to try again. But we’ll have to assume, to give them the benefit of the doubt, that these particular lobbyists had already written up the 63-page proposal before November’s crash, so thought they may as well go for it.
So how have they made their case? Essentially, VanEck and co. argued that bitcoin’s performance in spot and futures markets roughly matches—or outperforms—that of other markets, such as those for gold, silver, and copper.
And they pointed out that other more recent ETFs (e.g. “breakwave dry-bulk shipping”) are actually less secure than bitcoin, and that ETF was actually approved, despite it being “void of any discussion or facts that can be used to infer that the market for freight futures is a significant market.” Which may be true! But when your argument partially boils down to “we’re less bad than this other bad thing that you approved,” you know you’re in rough waters.
Venezuela makes stablecoin petro 100 percent more stable
Venezuela’s attempt at a stablecoin is going...unstably. The petro, pegged as it is to Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, ostensibly acts as a bulwark against hyperinflation. Nevertheless, President Nicolas Maduro saw fit to, er, inflate the petro’s price from 3,600 to 9,000 sovereign bolivars last week.
That sounds...counterintuitive. By inflating a currency nominally backed by non-inflationary oil barrels (unless Maduro magically inflated the oil reserves at the same time), Maduro has undermined his argument for issuing a state-backed crypto. Thank God the petro probably doesn’t exist, or this would be rather embarrassing, wouldn’t it?
Pompliano bullish on Russia?
Putin’s call on Thursday for a replacement global reserve currency has gotten downtrodden bitcoiners excited over the possibility of a bullish resurgence from beyond the (former) Iron Curtain.
Parsing Putin’s speech in his $300-a-year newsletter, bitcoin mega-pundit Anthony “Buy Your Kids Bitcoin for Christmas” Pompliano concluded that, possibly, Putin was referring to bitcoin in his speech. And even if he wasn’t, the dictator was likely a “fan” of the cryptocurrency.
Asked by Decrypt whether this would even be a good thing, Pompliano expatiated:
"This entire situation is quite complex. Few points: The fringes of society are often the first to adopt new technology, so it shouldn't surprise us that the "fringe governments" are the first to adopt cryptocurrencies. Countries like Russia and Venezuela are subjected to US sanctions in various forms, which accelerates their understanding of the US's power and control. This makes the benefits of cryptocurrencies more obvious to them. A major milestone for crypto will be the issuance of a digital currency (either embracing of Bitcoin or issuing of a state-back crypto) by a nation state. It is unlikely that the first couple of nation states are able to sustainably design the digital currency system (unless they simply embrace Bitcoin), but it will force other countries and governments to start exploring as well. Hope this helps."
We guess it’s nice to hear something positive about Russia?
Renowned cybersecurity mogul John McAfee announced in a tweet Sunday that he would not countenance any efforts at legal intervention on the part of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, upon which he cast multiple aspersions. He went on to venture that he would be forthright in his legal defense, were any litigation to eventually arise.
Elsewhere on Decrypt
- Self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor says he’s building a new Internet
- The secret meeting the Ethereum devs won’t tell you about
Read next: Gab tries to defend itself