March 8, 2017
The Commission should read the critiques put forth by Jim Angel in his The Hill opinion piece (http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/finance/322695-approving-bitcoin-etfs-will-lead-investors-to-slaughter) about what the SEC would be explicitly endorsing by approving this ETF or any similar ETF based on the bit-coin asset.
As Angel states there is no disclosures in any ETF filings in review that bit-coin's primary role in the global economy has expanded beyond $100M's in underground drug markets (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/08/darknet-drug-dealers-are-making-millions-each-month) towards a $1B ransomware industry (http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-bitcoin-helped-fuel-an-explosion-in-ransomware-attacks) which would only fuel its growth (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/13/ransomware-spiked-6000-in-2016-and-most-victims-paid-the-hackers-ibm-finds.html).
A common response to the article by proponents of bit-coin is that it is alarmist and reminiscent of calls for overbearing regulation of the internet economy in its emerging years that would have stifled huge potential for innovation. The Commission should understand that there is a clear distinction between the rapidly growing 'fintech' and 'blockchain' industries and bit-coin itself. Bit-coin is the first but only one out of hundreds of cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies or blockchain assets. No bit-coin ETF filings properly discloses the completely dysfunctional state of governance that has stalled innovation and development of bit-coin beyond its meager 3 transactions-per-second due to contentious factions of mining cartels in its midst which show growing likelihood of leading to a 'hard fork' situation that would existentially devastating results to the funds' assets.
Approving these investment products fuels only speculation for sake of speculation not innovation. Compare this to actual initiatives such as the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance which includes companies such as Intel, J.P. Morgan, BNY Mellon, BP, ING, and Thomson Reuters which seek to innovate based on blockchain and digital currency technology.
The SEC should encourage investors to instead turn to investment products based on actual companies leading innovation and growth of the economy.