Chances of SEC approving a Bitcoin spot ETF are 'slim to none … – Kitco NEWS

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(Kitco News) – The cryptocurrency ecosystem experienced a boost in momentum in June after a host of financial firms including BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, filed applications for a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETF), raising hopes among the crypto faithful that a long-awaited ETF would finally be approved.
While many now consider the approval of the first spot BTC ETF to be only a matter of time, John Reed Stark, former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Internet Enforcement, said that outcome is unrealistic as “more compelling evidence demonstrating that the chances for SEC approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF are slim and none (and slim just left town).”
According to an X (formerly Twitter) post from Stark, there is a new study that provides more proof “that the crypto-marketplace is totally rigged,” with the former SEC department head saying, “It seems almost axiomatic that market manipulation of crypto is not merely ubiquitous and tolerated, but also encouraged. Fraud [is] not only rewarded, but also taught.”
The SEC has repeatedly cited market manipulation as one of the main reasons why the regulator has denied all spot BTC ETFs up to this point. With data showing that market manipulation remains rife within the crypto ecosystem, there is a good chance that the SEC will continue to cite this as a reason to deny the current and all future applications.
In the study cited by Stark, researchers found that bots on Twitter “helped to pump up the price of crypto, including crypto traded by insiders at FTX hedge fund Alameda Research before its collapse.”
This led Stark to say “The crypto-verse is a cesspool of grift, fraud, and chicanery.”
“First off, there is no bonafide method to value mathematical computational blather,” he said. “No fundamentals, no balance sheets, no cash flow, no product, no management – no nothing. Crypto-analysis is like evaluating the clothing worn by a poltergeist.”
He also highlighted that “there is no crypto-related regulatory oversight, transparency, consumer protections, insurance, licensure, net capital requirements or any other effective customer protections” that are commonly found in the world of financial services. “Hence, the crypto rug-pull bazaar has become so rife with market manipulation, insider trading, conflicts of interest, and thievery, that investors stand no chance from the get-go.”
Stark went on to note that over time, cryptocurrency investors who were once victims have now transformed into victimizers that draft and enlist “the mammoth social media horde to serve as unwitting soldiers of fortune (without even having the decency to pay their legions any compensation or military scrip).”
“Meanwhile, the irony is that crypto’s ‘Greater Fool Theory’ cultists have traded one set of chains for an even worse set of chains, and are now shackled to a more brazen cadre of grifting profiteers, even more nefarious than the bankers and regulators that libertarians so desperately seek to escape,” he said.
This led Stark to warn that, “when the music stops, crypto’s ‘freedom’ from government protection, recourse, restitution and remediation becomes a curse and not a blessing.”
“Just like the true believers in FTX, Celsius, BlockFi, Voyager, Genesis, Terra and the rest, crypto-customers inevitably wind up with no place to sit, languishing and wasting away as unsecured creditors with little hope of recompense and reparation,” he said. “Don't believe me? Read the victim impact statements made public in the court documents of the litany of crypto debacles, and learn first-hand, from victims, about the despairing and catastrophic investor carnage caused by crypto.”

Stark said the most disturbing aspect of the situation is “that the crypto fat cats are laughing all the way to the bank.”
“Fail not at your peril crypto fans – wake up – you are the hunted, not the hunter,” he warned.
In a follow-up post from Stark highlighting the rise in criminal activity facilitated by cryptocurrencies, he said the main beneficiaries of the technology are grifters and criminals.
“Crypto has two primary beneficiaries: Grifters, who shill crypto to lure in investors, especially if those investors are the downtrodden, injecting a predatory element of affinity fraud into their schemes (just like check-cashing services and payday loans do) and Criminals, who exploit the pseudonymity of crypto to orchestrate globally a vast array of devastating crimes,” he said.
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