SEC Should Be ‘Abolished’ for Approving Bitcoin ETF, Says Peter Schiff

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In Brief
  • Peter Schiff says the SEC's approval of a bitcoin futures ETF is reason to abolish the regulator.

  • A gold ETF actually stores physical gold, a bitcoin ETF stores nothing, he claims.

  • News of the ETF approval spurs bitcoin rally.

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Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff has suggested that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) be disbanded following its approval of a bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) last week.

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“The SEC’s approval of a bitcoin futures ETF is another reason to abolish the SEC,” charged the gold bug in a tweet on Oct 19. “I have no objection to the ETF,” Schiff mocked. “My beef is that bitcoin pumpers will now use the approval to sucker in more buyers based on the government’s supposed endorsement of bitcoin by approving the ETF.”

The SEC approved the much-awaited bitcoin ETF that invests in futures contracts on Oct 15. The Proshares Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded fund launched on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct 19, becoming the first-ever bitcoin ETF in the United States.

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Nearly $1 billion worth of shares changed hands on this first day. The share price oscillated between $40 and $42.15. Trading under the ticker BITO, the ETF allows investors to buy into an asset that tracks the price of bitcoin, but without actually owning the underlying asset directly themselves.

‘Bitcoin ETF stores nothing’

News of the ETF approval spurred the price of bitcoin to a new record high of $64,124, at the time of writing.

In another tweet, Schiff continued to throw shade at BTC. “Now there’s a new way to gamble on #bitcoin,” the Euro Pacific CEO ridiculed.

“Anyone buying bitcoin is gambling. But some gamblers don’t want to risk owning actual bitcoin, so they gamble with bitcoin futures instead. Now those who don’t want to risk buying futures contracts can gamble on a bitcoin futures ETF,” he said.

Schiff immediately got a backlash from bitcoin die-hards on Twitter – something that is not totally strange to him. Pointing to Schiff’s ignorance, Rahul Sood, a crypto investor and creator of Microsoft Ventures, queried:

You think ETF trading gold is better? No one truly knows how much gold is out there. It’s mostly traded on paper, there’s tons of fake gold, no way to track, no cap (literally) etc. Gold is a disaster.

Never one to cower during an argument, Schiff had a ready answer. “No one knows exactly how much gold is yet to be discovered, but we know it’s scarce,” he retorted, adding:

We also have a pretty good estimate of what’s above ground. A gold ETF actually stores physical gold. A #bitcoin ETF stores nothing.

Schiff’s concerns about the bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund are shared by some within the crypto industry. For example, on-chain crypto analyst Willy Woo suggested that the ETF may be bad for retail investors as it places institutional investors such as hedge funds at an advantage.

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Jeffrey Gogo is a versatile financial journalist based in Harare, Zimbabwe. For more than 17 years, he has written extensively on local and global financial markets; economic and company news. A climate change enthusiast, Gogo's work has appeared in Zimbabwe's biggest daily The Herald, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Bitcoin.com and several online publications. Gogo first encountered bitcoin in 2014, and began covering cryptocurrency markets in 2017.

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