Two European Central Bank (ECB) officials once again roundly criticized bitcoin, this time calling the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) “the naked emperor’s new clothes,” referring to a situation where something is widely praised without having any substantial merit.

In a blog post published on Thursday, ECB Director General of Market Infrastructure and Payments Ulrich Bindseil and advisor Jürgen Schaaf argued that bitcoin investments still lack safety, emphasizing that the current price of BTC does not indicate its sustainability. 

“For disciples, the formal [SEC] approval confirms that Bitcoin investments are safe and the preceding rally is proof of an unstoppable triumph,” wrote Bindseil and Schaaf.  “We disagree with both claims and reiterate that the fair value of Bitcoin is still zero.” 

Read More: What Officials, ETF Issuers, and Others Are Saying About the SEC’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Approvals

‘Dead Cat Bouncing’

While BTC has recovered from under $17,000 in 2023 to as high as $52,000 this week, the two officials likened BTC to a “dead cat bouncing so high.” In investing slang, a “Dead Cat Bounce” is a temporary price rally that essentially disappears as soon as it came. 

Bindseil and Schaaf indicated that the seeming resilience of the largest cryptocurrency by market cap stems from three factors: ongoing price manipulation, increased demand for BTC as a financing tool for crime, and the misjudgment of government authorities.

Read More: Bitcoin Price Is Now at a Record High in 14 Different Countries

After FTX collapsed in the fall of 2022, the two ECB officials previously wrote a blog post claiming that bitcoin was on its last stand and on “the road to irrelevance.” Since that post was published on Nov. 30, 2022, however, the price of the largest cryptocurrency by market cap has tripled from $17,187 to $51,644, data from CoinGecko shows

Bitcoin Advocates Push Back

Bitcoin advocates, in response, have taken to X, formerly known as Twitter, to push back against the ECB officials’ blog post, with some making jokes via memes and others detailing specific issues of contention. 

For example, the ECB’s tweet that links to its recent blog post has a lengthy community note. According to X, a community note is “a collaborative way to add helpful context and keep people better informed,” per their official site

The community note for the ECB tweet has four points: criminals do not prefer BTC; Bitcoin is an open monetary protocol that enables people to store value in a decentralized manner; the Euro is losing its purchasing power against bitcoin; and BTC is beneficial for the environment.