Despite long being the stuff of crypto fanboys’ daydreams, a cryptocurrency exchange traded fund (ETF) is yet to come into fruition. And according to Yoni Assia, the CEO of social trading platform eToro, we are going to have to wait a while longer before one comes to market.
Speaking at the Israel Bitcoin Summit, which was held at Tel Aviv University on Wednesday, Assia said that both market conditions and the nature of the cryptocurrency industry itself made it unlikely that the US Securities and Exchange Commission would give a green like to a cryptocurrency ETF.
“The American capital markets, for the SEC, are already like a blockchain,” said Assia. “They can monitor every single transaction that takes place. So when they look at crypto and all these exchanges spread across the world that don’t have control, and will probably never have control, they understand they can’t necessarily [prevent price manipulation] – and that’s a new paradigm for them.”
Following on from this, Assia also said that the recent plunge in the price of Bitcoin has lent credence to the view that the cryptocurrency market is destined to fail and, as a corollary of that, lose people money.
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“The people that said ‘crypto is a bubble, people are going to lose their money’ are now the smart people in the room because they were ‘right,’” said the eToro CEO. “Those people get credit [and can] delay things a bit further. So I think it’s going to be a while before we seen an ETF but you never know.”
Bitcoin to Replace fiat
Perhaps more controversially, Assia claimed that we will see a whole country adopting cryptocurrency in the near future. That in turn, Assia argued, will destroy the country’s banking system.
“It is inevitable that in the next five years we’re going to see at least one country where people flock to Bitcoin,” said Assia. “All the banks in that country [will] go bankrupt and the government has zero chance of reviving the banking system because there is no need for a local currency or local bank.”
Where exactly will this place be? Well, according to Assia, it’s the continent home to some world-renowned bastions of economic freedom, including Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia.
“You could argue that in some countries in Latin America, you are already starting to see this [cryptocurrency takeover] happen,” said Assia. “But it’s inevitable that it will lead some governments to bankruptcy – so the fact that some of them are blocking it does make sense. But the average lifespan of a fiat currency is 30 years, so could all live to see fiat currencies disappear.”