Since Bitcoin became a thing, and then blew up in a big way, people haven’t stopped talking about it.
I only recently figured out how it works – and by recently I mean 30 seconds ago, when Jasmine Stone explained it to me.
So I’m not going to attempt an opinion on cryptocurrencies. Instead, I’m going to hand things over to New York University’s Stern School of Business professor of economics Nouriel Roubini, AKA Dr Doom.
Why Dr Doom? This guy has a reputation for correctly predicting financial crises, and has long been a critic of cryptocurrencies.
Before we go any further, here’s a handy diagram explaining Bitcoin for others who didn’t get the memo:
Back to Dr Doom (below), covered on NewsAU:
Appearing before the US Senate banking committee hearing last week, Mr Roubini said the cryptocurrency market had “now gone into a crypto-apocalypse as the mother and father of all bubbles has now gone bust”…
[He] slammed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as “the mother of all scams” and blockchain as the “most over-hyped technology ever”.
I’ll steer clear of knocking blockchain, because that’s a discussion in its own right, but back to business:
Bitcoin has lost about two thirds of its value since peaking at $US20,000 in December, with the digital currency hovering around $US6000 for most of 2018. About 2000 other tokens, the majority of which move in sync with the bitcoin, have fared worse.
He attacked cryptocurrencies generally, arguing that they have no intrinsic value when compared with fiat currency. He also said that blockchain was “nothing better than a glorified spreadsheet or database”. As for how he really feels about Bitcoin…
“Scammers, swindlers, criminals, charlatans, insider whales and carnival barkers tapped into clueless retail investors’ FOMO and took them for a ride selling them and dumping on them scammy crappy assets at the peak that then went into a bust and crash — in a matter of months — like you have not seen in any history of financial bubbles,” Mr Roubini said.
“A 70 per cent capital loss was a ‘good’ deal compared to thousands of alt-coins — otherwise better known as s**tcoins — that have lost on average 95 per cent of their value since the peak. Actually calling this useless vapourware garbage a ‘s**tcoin’ is a grave insult to manure that is a most useful, precious and productive good as a fertiliser in agriculture.”
Okay, to return to Blockchain ever so briefly, he had more stern words:
“Blockchain’s ideology is politically born out of the same mentality as libertarian right wing conspiracies or extreme left anarchism,” he said.
“All governments, central banks, moneys, institutions, banks, corporations, entities with reputation and credibility build over centuries are evil centralised concentrations of power that literally need to be destroyed.”
The reality, he argued, is “just the opposite”.“A bunch of self-serving greedy white men — very few women or minorities are allowed in the blockchain space — have pretended to create billions of wealth out of nowhere while pretending to care about billions of poor and unbanked humans around the world,” he said.
To summarise, Dr Doom really really doesn’t like cryptocurrencies.
I’m going to go with him on this one. He makes some valid points. I wonder how the office #boetcoinexpert is going to feel about this one.
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