Did a Celebrated Indian Novelist Just Comment on the Ethereum ETF?

Journalist:
May 5, 2017

Anita Desai, Indian novelist and the Emerita John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, apparently believes the SEC should reject a new ETF filing for a security based on Ethereum, just like the agency did with the Bitcoin ETF earlier this year. At least, someone with the same name as her, with friends in India, does.

“It is not that cryptocurrencies are a negative thing,” the Jaipur native writes, “it is because they are in their infancy with regards to widespread understanding on even the basic fundamentals of what they actually are, which is a dangerous thing.”

She believes when government regulators take serious looks at digital currencies, it lends legitimacy to the entire space.

“For example, with the recent global publicity Bitcoin received with the Winklevoss twins attempt to push the Bitcoin ETF through, all the other ‘Altcoins’ received publicity,” she wrote. “This created an environment where people without full understanding of what they were investing in started pumping money into anything that had ‘coin’ after it.”

Ms. Desai, who published her first book, Cry The Peacock, in 1963, claims she knows people who lost their entire savings in India and Africa when they bought into Ponzi schemes like ‘Onecoin’.

“By giving any cryptocurrency an ETF status this early on without a proper legal and regulatory framework in place, you are in effect giving all the other approximate 750 existing cryptocurrencies legitimacy in the global public eye,” she wrote.

She notes that Ethereum is considered ‘Fuel’ rather than a currency by many – “which again shows how naïve investors are when they flocked to invest in it earlier this year.”

The MIT professor laments technical issues prevalent in the Ethereum technology. “In addition there is talk in the Ethereum community of a potential ‘Hardfork’, like the one that happened last year, which left two ‘chains’ and currencies namely Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) competing against each other,” she writes. “This event also saw the price of Ethereum fall drastically. Another Hardfork will have the same effect.”

She believes the inflationary economics and lack of understanding makes cryptocurrency dangerous for investors. “…And I believe the public needs to fully appreciate that your role is to protect investor interests and not to promote investments.”

She concludes: “Therefore I humbly request that until a proper legal and regulatory framework is in place, further understanding has been developed by the public and an ETF is not seen to play a part as a legitimatising vehicle for all cryptocurrencies in the eyes of the uninformed public, all such ETF’s be put on hold for the foreseeable future.”

Other comments were in support of Ether Fund, citing the trustworthiness  of Coinbase and GDAX, which filed the proposed Ether Fund. Cryptocurrency enthusiast Andrew Quentson wrote a long note about why the Fund should be approved.

“The invention of ethereum has opened a new world of opportunities and has energized a new generation which looks forward to building a better world,” he wrote. “A generation which, in the case of ethereum, is overall responsible, scientifically minded, politically diverse, pragmatic and grounded.” He continued to underscore the greatness of Ethereum.”

The price of Ethereum currently sits above $90, climbing toward $100.

Featured image from writersFestival/YouTube.

Last modified (UTC): May 5, 2017 21:10