A Brazilian professor is receiving flacks from the Bitcoin community for comparing the digital currency with Ponzi schemes and penny stocks.
Jorge Stolfi, professor at State University of Campinas, and a staunch Bitcoin critic, said in an ETF filing that Bitcoin is a “speculative trading asset, and the value of which is “based on expectations of traders”. He went on saying that Bitcoin should be regulated the same way a Ponzi fund or a Penny stock is regulated.
Stolfi’s comments meanwhile went against the US’s notion of treating Bitcoin like properties. The statements, however, were made in response to Bitcoin Exchange Trades Funds (ETFs), which are considered to be a repackaged version of conventional shares. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is currently reviewing regulation requests from certain Bitcoin ETF companies, for which it needed expert comments.
The famed Winklevoss Twins, known for their Gemini Bitcoin Exchange, had floated Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares, a Bitcoin ETF almost two years ago. The regulatory hassles involved with such instruments has prevented them from being listed on Nasdaq or any other market of similar stature.
Recently they collaborated with Bats BZX Exchange to make their Bitcoin ETF a reality. Since then, Bats BZX Exchange‘s approval request to list the digital currency based shares on its platform is pending with the SEC. After months of deliberation, the government body has called for an extension of the approval process. The commission in a document dated October 12, 2016, has announced a further delay in the decision-making process following six comment letters it received in this regard.
Stolfi’s anti-Bitcoin letter is one among them.
While Jorge Stolfi’s comment may not have a significant influence on the SEC’s decision, it still displays the kind of opposition faced by the digital currencies. It is hard to take a stand on Bitcoin regulations and trade practices at the moment, especially when the cryptocurrency is still in the process of gaining critical adoption. But, unless the promising technology is given a fair chance to prove itself, we will never know what it is really capable of.