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Bitcoin ETFs: More detrimental to the cryptocurrency market than centralized exchanges

Bitcoin ETFs: More detrimental to the cryptocurrency market than centralized exchanges

Title: The Potential Risks of Bitcoin ETFs: A Closer Look

Introduction:

In recent weeks, there has been a surge in interest from traditional finance for crypto-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs). However, the rise of Bitcoin ETFs may pose risks and challenges that investors should consider. This article explores the potential downsides of investing in Bitcoin ETFs and highlights the importance of self-custody in the world of Bitcoin.

1. The Problem with Centralized Exchanges:

The implosion of FTX and its subsequent market contagion demonstrated that centralized exchanges are not ideal for everyday investors seeking to benefit from Bitcoin. Similarly, Bitcoin-linked ETFs present an even worse scenario, as investors are unable to withdraw the underlying asset, i.e., the Bitcoin itself. This eliminates the crucial feature of Bitcoin – the ability to control funds without relying on trust.

2. Distortion of the Market:

There is a risk that “paper Bitcoin” or claims not backed by actual Bitcoin could distort the market and undermine Bitcoin’s monetary policy. While exchanges like FTX faced withdrawal runs and eventual collapse, wiping out fake Bitcoin claims, ETFs may not face the same consequences. Without the ability to withdraw the underlying asset, ETFs could flood the market with millions of paper Bitcoin, potentially suppressing the price of Bitcoin.

3. Ownership and Control:

In the context of Bitcoin, ownership is closely tied to control over cryptographic keys associated with specific Bitcoin addresses. While it may be possible to own Bitcoin in a legal sense without direct control over the keys (e.g., through an exchange account or ETF share), this is not advisable in the Bitcoin world. Bitcoin’s digital nature and global liquidity make it susceptible to theft or mismanagement. True ownership of Bitcoin requires controlling the keys.

4. Long-Term Impact on Adoption:

While a major Bitcoin ETF approval may lead to a short-term price pump, the long-term impact on Bitcoin adoption could be negative. True adoption involves self-custody, where individuals have full control over their Bitcoin. Relying on ETFs or other intermediaries goes against the decentralized nature of Bitcoin and may hinder its widespread adoption.

Conclusion:

Investors should carefully consider the potential risks and downsides of Bitcoin ETFs. Centralized exchanges and ETFs limit the ability to control and truly own Bitcoin, potentially distorting the market and undermining Bitcoin’s monetary policy. Self-custody remains the most secure and reliable way to hold Bitcoin, ensuring full control over funds without the need to trust third parties.