A recent opinion piece coming from the publication the Hill has exclaimed that if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approves a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), it will lead mainstream investors to “slaughter.”
Hill Author Believes SEC Approving a Bitcoin ETF Bolsters Criminal Activity
A contributing columnist for the Hill, Jim Angel thinks a bitcoin ETF is a bad idea and not in the public’s best interest. Essentially, the author does believe in ‘blockchain technology’, but bitcoin is primarily used for “money laundering, ransomware, tax evasion and other criminal activities” according to Angel. The article states that if SEC approves these bitcoin-backed ETFs it will only further bolster these types of illicit activities.
“Blockchain has many legitimate applications, but Bitcoin 1.0 is not one of them,” explains the Hill opinion piece. “Bitcoin is a payment system ideally suited to the black market. The anonymity of bitcoin transactions makes it ideal for drug-running, terrorist funding and human trafficking. Bitcoin is the “coin of the realm” in the dark web.”
The author details the last time he discussed bitcoin with others he asked if anyone had used the digital currency before. He explains the last time he talked about bitcoin and asked this question one person disclosed they were hacked by ransomware. In his opinion, the primary use for bitcoin is only for criminal activity, and he believes no one has explained this detail to the SEC agency. “For this reason alone the SEC should reject them based on inadequate disclosure,” the author concludes.
Coin Center Fires Back
Following the article, the digital currency and blockchain legislative advocacy group Coin Center’s Jerry Brito blasted back at the Hill author for being very “misguided.” Brito explains the author just spouts off personal opinions and doesn’t cite substantial evidence proving them.
“The advent of the Internet led to rampant piracy, the proliferation of porn and illegal gambling, easier criminal communications, anonymous harassment, as well as new kinds of confidence scams,” Brito explains. “Could you imagine if the government in the early 1990s took advice like that of Mr. Angel? Advice that amounts to, ‘Please look only at the potential costs of this technology and ignore all the potential benefits because they’re too unproven and uncertain.’ We would be much, much poorer today.”
Bitcoin Funds Far Less Illegal Activity Than Traditional Payments
Time and time again mainstream media has tried to portray bitcoin in a negative light. Moreover, the Hill author forgets to mention that many other payment rails like cash and credit cards fund quite a bit of illegal operations. It is true that bitcoin has been used in ransomware and other illicit activities. Just as it is true malicious malware also uses Paypal and pre-paid cards. Ransomware has been around since 1989, well before bitcoin. The rest of the illegal black market deeds mentioned in the Hill article are also heavily funded by fiat reserves, credit cards, mainstream payment providers, as well as by gold and diamonds.
The small twenty billion dollar bitcoin economy pales in comparison to the criminal activities financed by traditional mainstream mediums of exchange, even ones that have ETFs.
What do you think about the Hill opinion piece against a bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments below.
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