About seven years ago Bitcoin was of interest to geeks and black markets and Ethereum did not even exist. The things have changed. Today cryptocurrencies hit the news almost every day and cause heated debates. The recent example of crypto mania was the general interest in Bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETFs). Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin could not stay away from the discussion.
The renowned blockchain developer doubts whether institutionally-connected issues like ETFs must be the focus of the crypto industry. The market is dominated by solutions for investors, while everyday usage is left behind. In Buterin’s words:
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) 29 июля 2018 г.
The public has demonstrated vivid interest in Bitcoin ETF. However, the influence of the SEC’s ruling on this issue may be overestimated. The CareerBuilder’s 2017 survey revealed that almost 80% of the U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck. These people set the household – and they are hardly interested in Bitcoin ETFs or futures contracts. These financial tools can stimulate the development of the crypto sphere. However, unless average workers start using cryptos to pay for their everyday purchases, no one can talk about the massive adoption of the cryptocurrencies.
Vitalik Buterin is not only one of the founders of the most successful blockchain-based projects – he is one of the early crypto enthusiasts. He started working in the crypto sphere when one had to be over-optimistic to believe that Bitcoin will be taken seriously by high authorities and word leading corporations. And the Buterin’s Tweet brings us back to the roots of blockchain.
The cryptocurrencies have gained incredible popularity and it looks like developers should be happy about it. But the focus of development has shifted. Secure transactions, transparent financial system – all these phrases tend to become marketing clichés. The news has turned cryptocurrencies into a global investment market – and that is not what Buterin wants for the crypto sphere.
The recent example of Bitcoin ETF rejection is extremely distinctive. The sentiments of society have changed from the unjustified optimism to deep disappointment. This roller coaster resulted in the breaking Bitcoin price of over $8.300 – the level that the top cryptocurrency could not reach for two month. This could be great news for the crypto community – but for the fact this increase is associated with the speculation on the approval of Bitcoin ETF.
However, it cannot be denied that Bitcoin ETF is an initiative worth working on. General Counsel and CCO of Huobi UK, Josh Goodbody gave his evaluation of this situation – and it definitely contrasts the position of Vitalik Buterin:
“Bringing in asset classes and financial vehicles into the crypto space will give investors the exposure they’re comfortable with. Not everyone wants to hold private keys. As long as it’s launched by a reputable market participant, we think it’s a positive development for the industry.”
The introduction of Bitcoin ETF – just like the previous success of Bitcoin futures – may strengthen the position of the cryptocurrencies on financial markets. But will it contribute to the massive adoption of cryptos? The development of these financial tools enhances the ability to control the crypto market and, in theory, manipulate it. Investors will get an opportunity to make more money – but these ‘milestones’ can hardly bring us closer to the moment when an average worker is paying for his coffee with cryptos.