This morning, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is holding a hearing on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, featuring testimony from New York University economist Nouriel Roubini.
Roubini, as CLC reported, has been bashing bitcoin since before most of the mainstream public had become familiar with the terms “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain,” and — true to form — his Senate testimony contained some real gems.
Here are some highlights:
By the time this article is published, Roubini will have likely become the first person to use the word “sh*tcoin” in congressional testimony, with the word — a term of derision that bitcoin maximalists frequently use when discussing ICO charlatans would effectively take us – not to the futuristic world of ‘The Jetsons,’ but to the modern Stone Age world – that is worse than ‘The Flintstones’ – who at least used clam shells as their money and understood the importance of a single numeraire – where all transactions occur through the barter of different tokens or goods. It is time to recognize their utopian rhetoric for what it is: self-serving nonsense meant to separate credulous investors from their hard-earned savings”
Continuing his assault, Roubini fired shots across the bow at bitcoin, hearkening back to criticism he has made in the past through Twitter and other means. In addition to arguing that bitcoin is more centralized the North Korea, he argued that it was, more or less, a worse version of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
“It is high time to end the hype. Bitcoin is a slow, energy-inefficient dinosaur that will never be able to process transactions as quickly or inexpensively as an Excel spreadsheet.”
While Roubini spent more than 35 pages excoriating the cryptocurrency ecosystem from top to bottom, he took particular aim at “stablecoins,” cryptocurrency tokens whose values are in some way pegged to a fiat currency (i.e., the U.S. dollar).
Roubini said that stablecoins are the “biggest scam of all,” noting that tether (USDT), currently the largest stablecoin, has never undergone a full audit to prove that its tokens are fully-backed by USD.
“And the biggest scam of all is the case of ‘stable coins’ – starting with Tether – that claimed to be pegged one to one to the US dollar but are not fully collateralized by an equal backing of true US dollars. Bitfinex – behind the scammy Tether – has persistently refused to be properly audited and its creation of fiat Tether has been systematically used to prop up manipulate upward the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies according to a recent academic paper.”
As CLC reported, non-profit cryptocurrency research and advocacy group Coin Center will also testify before the Senate hearing. The organization’s testimony, one can be sure, will present a marked contrast to that of Roubini.
Images from Shutterstock
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