U.S. Bitcoin ETFs: ‘Good’ for crypto or not? Analyst weighs in

  • U.S. Bitcoin ETFs elicited mixed signals on the crypto regulatory front. 
  • Apart from BTC, most of the crypto projects faced regulatory uncertainty. 

The U.S. spot Bitcoin [BTC] ETF approval in January continues to elicit mixed feelings about whether it “legitimizes crypto.” 

In a recent interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Neel Maitra, a former SEC crypto specialist, said that the January approval was “grudging” and doesn’t look great for the market.

Part of his speech stated, 

“Its (approval) was grudging, and it was just for Bitcoin, and it’s not good news for the crypto generally.” 

To support his arguments, Maitra mentioned the SEC’s rejection of spot BTC ETFs in the past seven years before the courts forced its hand.

Additionally, the agency emphasized that the approval was limited to BTC and shouldn’t be read as a general crypto approval. 

Divergent views on Bitcoin ETF impact

However, Franklin Bi, a general partner at Pantera Capital, had a contrarian take. In an interview with “The Block,” the exec claimed that the U.S. spot BTC ETFs approval “validated crypto.”

He further commented, 

“The approval has really shown people that directionally speaking, regulation is still moving in a positive direction for digital assets.”

The executive added that the approval also convinced many institutional investors that crypto is a long-term technology trend worth exploring. 

True to Bi’s word, U.S. spot BTC ETFs have seen massive interest from institutional players.

For instance, the leading world asset manager, BlackRock, had an impressive BTC ETF debut and is eyeing the tokenization of real-world assets on the blockchain. 

However, regulatory heat in the industry still exists. Despite the approvals, the SEC has filed lawsuits against Uniswap [UNI] and Consensys’ MetaMask. 

Additionally, the agency has not clearly stated whether Ethereum [ETH] is not a security. This prompted Consensys to sue the SEC and seek clarity from the courts on the status of ETH. 

In a separate development, a new class action lawsuit against Coinbase claims that the exchange misled investors into buying “securities” like Solana [SOL], Near [NEAR], and UNI, amongst others. 

That said, BTC had regulatory clarity after the January ETF approvals. However, several crypto projects and tokens like ETH face regulatory uncertainty.

Will it take more than ETF approval to validate crypto legitimacy in the U.S.? 

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