Bitcoin ETFs “Will Eventually Happen,” Says Cornell Computer Science Professor

Omar Faridi
  • Dr. Emin Gün Sirer, a well-known crypto personality, said technological advancements will eventually lead to the approval of crypto ETFs.
  • Sirer blamed crypto market manipulators for the SEC’s rejection of Bitcoin ETFs.

Cornell professor Emin Gün Sirer, a well-known crypto personality, recently stated that technological advancements in the crypto industry will likely lead to the SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin ETF.

According to Dr. Sirer, there are a couple of ways the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could be persuaded to green light crypto ETFs. One way, the Turkish-American professor suggests, is to request the SEC to re-evaluate its stance, given Commissioner Hester Peirce’s dissenting opinion against its recent rejection of another Bitcoin ETF.

Dr. Sirer noted that chances are slim the SEC will reconsider Bitcoin ETF applications based on Peirce’s dissenting opinion. This, the professor says, is because “it’s not like the agency didn’t already know” that Peirce didn’t agree with its ruling.

A better could be directly addressing the SEC’s objections regarding a Bitcoin ETF, he suggested. Notably, Sirer, who cited concerns about the DAO on the Ethereum network prior to its hack, is known for keeping a fairly objective point of view. In this particular case, he revealed he thinks the SEC might have rejected Bitcoin ETF applications so far because of its genuine concern for investor protection.

Blaming Market Manipulation

Dr. Sirer went on to allege that those who are critical of the SEC’s ruling often take part in abusive crypto market manipulation tactics. Due, in part, to their harmful activities, the professor believes the federal regulator may have not approved crypto ETF applications at this time.

Despite the presence of pump-and-dump schemes in cryptocurrency markets, Sirer believes the SEC will eventually approve Bitcoin ETFs. However, he stressed that blockchain developers will have to make substantial technological improvements to cryptocurrency platforms, before the regulator reconsiders its current stance.

Sirer added:

“There are technological solutions being developed for building trustworthy exchanges, for adding liquidity, and for doing secure public audits. The answers to the problems cited in SEC's report lie in technology. Tech brought us all the way to this point and it can/will lead us out of here. Rest assured that the ETFs will eventually happen.”

Emin Gün Sirer

Ransomware Attacks Continue as Indiana County Pays Extortionists $130,000 in Bitcoin

A county in Indiana has recently decided to pay ransomware extortionists a total of $130,000 in bitcoin to have its systems decrypted. The case is one among a growing trend of ransomware attacks.

According to WSBT-TV, La Porte County’s government was hit with a ransomware attack on July 6 and, after consulting with experts from the FBI that determined they couldn’t unlock the encrypted data with their systems, decided to pay the ransomware attackers a bitcoin ransom to have its files decrypted.

Speaking to the news outlet Eric Tamashasky, a local cyber crimes expert, warned that paying ransoms is a risk. He was quoted as saying:

You are taking an incredible risk by paying it because there is no guarantee that the person who committed the crime is going to honor the deal when you transfer them bitcoin to an untraceable deep web account.

La Porte was hit with the Ryuk ransomware, a popular strain believed to have also hit Monroe College earlier this week. In the college’s case, the attackers are demanding 170 bitcoins, at press time worth nearly $2 million, to decrypt their systems.

The Indiana County wasn’t the only to have to pay ransomware attackers bitcoin to see its systems decrypted. Last month, two cities in Florida – Riviera Beach and Late City – were forced to pay thousands to the extortionists.

Paying up is a controversial decision that authorities warn against, as it encourages the attackers to keep on finding new victims that’ll send them bitcoin for them to stop. Not paying can, on the other hand, have serious consequences.

The city of Baltimore was hit with a ransomware attack in early May of this year and for well over a month refused to pay the extortionists behind the attack, which demanded a total of 13 BTC (around $138,000) to decrypt its systems. The attack was so severe it halted the city’s real estate deals and disrupted various industries.

In total, it’s estimated the attack caused a total of $18.2 million in damages by early June, at taxpayers’ expense.