Spot Bitcoin ETF approval changes nothing, analysts at ECB insist

European Central Bank analysts refute Bitcoin’s value despite the recent spot ETF approval, citing its unsuitability for payment and investment, and advocate for stricter regulations.

The recent approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) changed nothing as the crypto’s fair value “is still zero,” Ulrich Bindseil, director general of market infrastructure & payments, and Jürgen Schaaf, adviser in market infrastructure & payments at the European Central Bank, said in a recent blog post.

Refuting Bitcoin’s claims of being a global decentralized digital currency and a lucrative financial asset, the analysts reiterated their concerns regarding the societal and environmental risks posed by Bitcoin’s resurgence.

“Bitcoin has failed on the promise to be a global decentralized digital currency and is still hardly used for legitimate transfers.”

Ulrich Bindseil and Jürgen Schaaf

Bitcoin’s shortcomings as a means of payment and investment persist, according to the ECB analysts, who say that crypto is still “inconvenient, slow, and costly.” Despite efforts such as government sponsorship in El Salvador, Bitcoin has failed to gain widespread acceptance as “successful means of payment.”

“The history of Bitcoin has been characterized by price manipulation and other types of fraud. This may not be very surprising for an asset that has no fair value.”

Ulrich Bindseil and Jürgen Schaaf

The ECB analysts urged authorities to implement stricter regulations to address the risks posed by Bitcoin, including money laundering, cybercrime, financial losses, and environmental damage. They emphasized that Bitcoin’s price level does not accurately reflect its sustainability or economic fundamentals, advocating for vigilance in regulating the crypto market.

In January, the SEC approved multiple spot Bitcoin ETFs for listing on all registered national exchanges in the U.S., including the Nasdaq, NYSE: The New York Stock Exchange, and Chicago Board Options Exchange, following a decade-long hunt for these products.

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