Vladimir Okhotnikov about Bitcoin-ETF approval process: what was that?

Vladimir Okhotnikov is a publicist, blockchain expert, critic of business administrative regulation and libertarian supporter.

Vladimir Okhotnikov: Is the Bitcoin-ETF approval process a battle of good and evil or «business as usual»?

During the second half of the last 2023, the crypto community watched with passion the process of approving applications for a Bitcoin-ETF release. This period was remembered by an anomalous number of insiders who knew exactly what the SEC was going to do. "The approval is expected next week. My colleague personally spoke to a guy whose brother has a neighbor who works at the SEC. So, my information is the most reliable…"

Rumors were the main driver of the market. Rumors were circulated online and quoted by leading media. Bitcoin’s rate and market capitalization followed the insides.

To an outsider, the Bitcoin-ETF application process seemed like an epic battle of good and evil. On the side of good was a team led by BlackRock, and the SEC played for evil. After approval, it seemed that there would be total crypto-happiness.

It’s actually a huge simplification. The debate around the future of cryptocurrencies is not about individuals or individual companies, but about the vision of the future financial system and the social order of our civilization.

"Simplification is one way to learn. We divide a complex phenomenon into many small simple and understandable ones. However, if you are passionate about simplification, you cannot see the overall picture. It is naive to reduce everything to the argument of good investors and bad SEC..."

Vladimir Okhotnikov

Bitcoin is just a symbol of an alternative to the existing financial system. From the point of view of any Bitcoin financier, as, in fact, cryptocurrency in general is the phenomenon is not only harmful, but also dangerous. The SEC head’s extremely negative comments about Bitcoin spread to memes. It is simplistic to think that this is a personal matter of a particular person, but before us there is the voiced position of elite groups that focus on fiat. 

Oddly enough, this position is perfect... but only within the paradigm of the fiat economy, that is, within the paradigm of the centralized system.

Centralization vs decentralization

The centralized system always has a single decision-making center. It doesn’t matter one person or many people, it’s all about vertical hierarchy. The danger to this system is not the Bitcoin itself, but the blockchain’s logic hidden in it. If it would be accepted, the fiat financiers will have to give up control of the currency emissions and actually kill the banks, taking away their monopoly on keeping non-cash money. Such a threat is like a declaration of war.

"A centralized system is always subjective. It is impossible to create a perfectly objective decision-making center, at least so far no one has succeeded. Decentralization removes the issue of decision-making. It works only on the algorithms originally laid down, and all transactions can be checked by all users of the system…"

Vladimir Okhotnikov

Bitcoin-ETF was largely a worldview issue rather than a technical one. The position of crypto-skeptics is understandable: the crypto potentially threatens the foundations of the existing financial system, and should therefore be limited. However, crypto-optimists reasonably answer that the very appearance of blockchain and bitcoin was a consequence of the critical problems of the central financial system and the economy as a whole.

The arguments of the parties are clear, we will see which of them will prove more convincing to the public.

Bitcoin-ETF is one of the confrontation episodes. It is difficult to say how it will end, but in any case, it will be interesting!