“Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”
This line, paraphrased from the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, describes much of the sentiment in the bitcoin crowd this week.
Last week, you probably heard, the SEC decided if the Winklevoss brothers’ bitcoin-tethered ETF could join the Wall Street loudmouths.
The answer? No.
In its official statement, the regulatory agency cited “concerns about the potential for fraudulent or manipulative acts or practices” in bitcoin trading.
Moreover, the SEC went on, bitcoin is “too susceptible to fraud due to its unregulated nature.”
Hmm. Let’s see about that…
1.] Overall, Bitcoin, compared to all fiat flag currencies, is the least susceptible to fraud. It has the most secure network on earth and exists on a database that’s immune to manipulation and inflation. Meaning, it can’t be debased in order to fund wars, oversea regime changes, domestic spying programs and general poli-tickal malfeasance. If the world were to use such a currency (with competing currencies nipping at its tail, of course), governments wouldn’t regulate the money — they would be regulated by it.
2.] Bitcoin is already regulated. But it’s regulated by the bitcoin protocol and the blockchain and not some central regulatory force. It’s done by math — not central planners. There’s no ear to twist. No pocket to fill. No shareholders to cajole, bribe or blackmail.
On the other side of the coin, it means you’re 100% responsible for your own money. With bitcoin, you are your own bank.
All of this, of course, makes the busybodies a bit antsy.
Surprise: Bitcoin Unfazed By Rejection
Bitcoin didn’t seem to take much offense to the SEC’s dismissal.
Just before the denial, BTC rose to new heights — $1350. Once the SEC’s decision was discovered, it crashed below $1,000… then promptly regained its composure.
The ETF decision last week was not a blow to bitcoin. If anything it was a testament to its strength — and a signal of just how immune it is to the magic power of permission-making bestowed upon the masses by (mostly) arbitrary authority figures.
Moreover, not only was the SEC decision last Friday good for bitcoin, it became a boon for all of the major “alternative” cryptocurrencies.
Dash, upon writing, is hovering around $77, up from $50 since Friday. Ethereum is wobbling around $29, up from around $16. And Monero is sitting at around $19, up from about $13.50 since the SEC’s decision.
Ultimately, I believe in the bitcoin protocol far more than I do Janet Yellen and the world’s central banks. I trust the Bitcoin Foundation more than I do Goldman Sachs. And I have much more faith in Satoshi’s vision than whatever the Davos hobnobbers are cooking up for us.
Point blank: The SEC’s decision didn’t matter. Only the weak hands were affected by the decision. Yes, an ETF is probably coming (even though it’s a bad idea).
But right now, that’s not important. Right now, it’s time for the bitcoin community to focus on what’s really important.
As Brad Lemley of Laissez Faire’s Natural Health Response rightly said this morning: “SEC disapproval inevitable and ultimately irrelevant. What really matters is solving transaction volume/speed issues so it can be a true currency rather than just a way to transfer assets across borders.”
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
Have something to say? Say it! Chris@lfb.org.