Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes that the excitement surrounding crypto ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) is misjudged.
With cryptocurrency markets in the last few weeks seemingly gripped by anticipation of and reaction to the SEC’s decision on various bitcoin-related ETFs, the 24 year-old crypto pioneer thinks the emphasis should be elsewhere – yesterday telling his nearly 800,000 twitter followers:
I think there's too much emphasis on BTC/ETH/whatever ETFs, and not enough emphasis on making it easier for people to buy $5 to $100 in cryptocurrency via cards at corner stores. The former is better for pumping price, but the latter is much better for actual adoption.— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) July 29, 2018
Speculation Vs. Real Use
Buterin’s argument encapsulates a broader tension that seems to be playing out in the crypto space – whether cryptocurrencies (and tokens) should be striving to be real-world, usable currencies – or stores of value that attract institutional speculation.
For now it seems that the price of bitcoin is far more reactive to the latter dynamic than the former.
Last week, the SEC’s decision to reject the Winklevoss’ bitcoin ETF proposal for a second time saw the price of bitcoin tumble over 5% quite abruptly, before regaining the lost ground by the end of the day.
With the SEC also delaying another set of bitcoin-ETFs from Boston-based ETF provider Direxion Investments until September, the far more hotly-anticipated decision on proposals from VanEck and SolidX is set to be made in August.
It is likely for the time being then, that as with the anticipation surrounding bitcoin futures last December, cryptocurrency markets will continue to closely watch for signs of increasing institutional involvement.