Bitcoin ETF v. self-custody: Why this CEO wants you to choose the latter

  • Trezor CEO emphasizes self-custody hardware wallets amid ETF concerns.
  • Risks of centralized exchanges like Coinbase highlight the need for self-custody solutions.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to expand rapidly, one aspect often overlooked is the realm of self-custody hardware wallets. Despite boasting a vast global exchange user base of 420 million, only eight million individuals opt for self-custody solutions.

This stark contrast highlights a significant untapped market potential, particularly for industry players like Trezor, a Prague-based hardware wallet provider. 

However, recent developments, such as the approval of Bitcoin [BTC] ETFs and the looming possibility of Ethereum [ETH] ETFs, pose potential challenges. 

Trezor CEO warns against ETFs

These financial instruments expose investors to cryptocurrencies without the need for direct asset ownership, raising concerns for self-custody hardware wallet providers like Trezor. 

Remarking on the same, Matej Zak, the CEO of Trezor, in a conversation with Cointelegraph, highlighted, 

“The ultimate aim for everyone holding Bitcoin should be to self-custody the asset in a hardware wallet where it is safe, private, and protected.”

In a cautionary tone, he also warned against Coinbase’s dominance over eight of ten ETFs, citing risks like hacking and state intervention. He added, 

“With the current major inflow of capital into spot ETFs, Coinbase is likely to become the largest Bitcoin honeypot, attracting hackers, social engineers, and other attackers in volumes never seen before,” 

He further elaborated,

“The major threat here comes from governments that may be tempted to confiscate bitcoin stored at Coinbase in whole or in part, such as through specific taxes or simply just by legislating and confiscating.” 

Echoing similar sentiments, Peter Schiff, an infamous gold bug, outlined, 

“One problem with owning Bitcoin in an ETF is that liquidity is limited to U.S. market hours. 

He also cautioned, 

“So if the market crashes overnight, you have no ability to sell until the U.S. market opens for trading in the morning. Very frustrating to watch helplessly with no ability to get out.” 

Historical parallels and market insights

Drawing parallels between past and present, the CEO’s cautionary tale isn’t unfounded. History echoes President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102 in 1933, where citizens’ gold was seized due to uncontrollable federal debt and geopolitical uncertainty. 

The $34 trillion federal debt raises concerns akin to those faced back then. With Bitcoin’s substantial value held in Coinbase and its threat to the U.S. dollar, speculation arises about potential actions governments might take.


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