Cryptocurrencies arouse a lot of strong passions, including negative ones. The most intense crypto-haters see them as an evil hybrid between tulip fever and gold-rush, 2 in 1 package. Some of those people are your neighbors or colleagues, the others are big financial tycoons and prominent politics — influential enough to make cryptocurrencies stigmatized in the public mind.
There are many reasons why people hate the innovation. The discontent might be rooted in lack of understanding (or inability to understand) the blockchain technology — when you don’t get something, rejecting is the easiest way to react. ‘I told you so’ type of crypto haters is naturally suspicious of any hype — and they are looking forward for ‘the bubble’ to burst leaving a lot of risk-takers totally ruined. There are those who regret the opportunities they missed when Bitcoin price increased sharply some months ago. Therefore, let’s hate the new rich!
Finally, there are those who are so comfortable with the current economic landscape, they detest crypto as an eyesore.
Let’s proceed to the Bitcoin enemy list. And the winner is…
#1 Warren Buffet, American business magnate, investor and philanthropist
Bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared”
These are exact words said by Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway’s 2018 annual shareholder meeting. One of the richest persons in the world has big investments in financial institutions, including banks. It might be the main reason why cryptocurrencies make him unhappy.
Warren Buffet denies Bitcoin’s value and thinks that digital currencies will come to a bad end.
#2 Charlie Munger, American investor, businessman and philanthropist
‘Bitcoin is worthless, artificial gold’
Charlie Munger is the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate holding company, controlled by Warren Buffett. He is probably one of the most ardent BTC haters, judging by the dramatic comparisons he makes. Once he even remarked that trading crypto was as bad as ‘trading freshly harvested baby brains’.
Mugler’s apparently absurd hate may be explained — both he and Warren Buffet built their fortunes during the post-war boom, in the center of the global economic expansion. Things have changed greatly ever since, and the oligarchs detest the innovation that ushers in the new (and alien to them) economic order.
#3 Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Economist
“When you regulate it so that you couldn’t engage in money laundering and all these other things, there would be no demand for Bitcoin.”
Joseph Stiglitz is not an old school oligarch in his middle 80s — instead, he is a Columbia professor and a Nobel Prize-winning economist. Yet, he believes that Bitcoin serves no good function at all and will disappear as soon as it cannot be used for darkish activities like money laundering. “By regulating the abuses you are going to regulate it out of existence”, he declares.
As we see, Stiglitz shares the popular belief that BTC is used primarily by criminals, and should be outlawed.
“We have a good medium of exchange called the dollar. So, why do people want bitcoin? For secrecy”, he said during one of his public appearances.
The assumption that the only kind of people who cares for secrecy, are criminals is controversial. But it is quite clear that Stiglitz does not fully understand what a multi-purpose instrument crypto is, and how disappointing it may be for criminals.
Also, we are happy to mention, that despite what Stiglitz suggests, the regulatory activity of many countries is currently aimed at integrating cryptocurrencies into the existing financial system, and not at killing them.
#4 Robert Shiller, Nobel Prize winning economist, Yale professor
“I don’t mean to be dismissive of Bitcoin, but it looks like a bubble.”
Robert Shiller, another prominent crypto skeptic, is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and a professor at Yale University. His status and expertise entitle him to criticize cryptocurrencies, and he does. Robert Shiller’s idea is that cryptocurrency is another failed financial experiment the humankind has faced. It should be noted, that this economist has a history of predictions come true — thus, Shiller was right about the housing bubble. Today he points out that mania around new kind of money is not new — for instance, back in the early 16th century there were attempts to replace gold standard with so-called ‘time-based currency’. All those monetary innovations are fueled, Shiller says, by ‘a deep yearning for some kind of revolution in society’ and are always coupled with ‘a unique technological story’. In case of Bitcoin the public is fascinated by the aura of mystery and exclusivity (few non-tech people can explain how the technology works) and the sudden rise in price.
Nevertheless, Shiller cannot be called a crypto hater in the fullest sense. He even admits that Bitcoin can survive, but it will probably change beyond recognition on the way.
#5 Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan Chase CEO
“I don’t really give a shit about Bitcoin”
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of the American multinational investment bank J.P. Morgan, shares Stiglitz’ point of view on Bitcoin. Dimon was a pioneer in calling it a bubble, and declared that everyone who owned it was ‘stupid’.
He is famous for calling Bitcoin a fraud in September 2017, and even threatening to fire any bank employee who would be caught trading it. Later, when the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed, Dimon faced a lot of negative criticism from the crypto community and had to slightly change the tune. He regretted his earlier comment and admitted that the technology behind Bitcoin and other crypto looked rather promising indeed. Thus, Jamie Dimon believes that blockchain can be used for moving money (US dollars rather than Bitcoins), around the world.
Speaking of Bitcoin itself, the future of this cryptocurrency looks vague to Dimon, because ‘ the governments will crash it one day”.
Naturally, these views prevent J.P. Morgan from trading in digital currencies, and the situation is unlikely to change unless Dimon suddenly changes his opinion on the subject.
#6 Tidjane Thiam, The CEO of Credit Suisse
Bitcoin is “the very definition of bubble’.
Another influential member of the ‘crypto is a bubble’ club is Tidjane Thiam, the CEO of Credit Suisse, one of the leading financial services company. Thiam’s skepticism may be natural, as he heads the institution supposed to favor tradition and be cautious about hypes.
On the conference in Zurich, when the price of Bitcoin price was at its peak, Tidjane Thiam mentioned, that ‘the only reason today to buy or sell Bitcoin is to make money, which is the very definition of speculation and the very definition of a bubble.”
Also he thinks that Bitcoin presents several serious challenges for the society. One of them is anonymity. This feature may prevent the financial institutions from working with Bitcoin — for fear of being involved in (or, rather, accused of) money-laundering.
#7 Severin Cabannes, The deputy CEO at Société Générale SA
‘Bitcoin today, is in my view, clearly is a bubble… very clearly’.
Basically, Severin Cabannes’ comments on the cryptocurrency mirror those by his colleague Tidjane Thiam. The Deputy CEO of Swiss banking giant is not being original in his stance against crypto — in his opinion, Bitcoin is a bubble. Therefore, Societe Generale is not interested, and will not be investing in the cryptocurrency, Cabannes says. He mentioned, though, that this caution was reasonable, as they didn’t ‘know very well what are the market drivers behind the Bitcoin price valuation’.
#8 Nouriel Roubini, American economist, Professor at New York University
‘Bitcoin is mother of scams and bubbles’.
The opinion of Nouriel Roubini, one of the famous Bitcoin critics, cannot be ignored easily — this man was one of those who predicted the financial crisis of 2008. Also, Roubini is not completely unfamiliar with digital currencies and the underlying blockchain technology. He is known to take part in the discussions with top-level cryptocurrency influencers like Vitalik Buterin or Peter Van Valkenburgh.
Nevertheless, Roubini’s opinion is that blockchain is one of the most over-hyped and least useful technologies ever. Besides, he repeatedly accused cryptocurrencies of price-manipulating, promoting pump and dump schemes and encouraging
It is easier to see that the most passionate crypto haters have solid personal reasons to grow resistance against cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being the biggest target. There are quite a lot of financial tycoons and banking authorities among ‘not so happy guys’, and it would be naive to expect them love the technology designed to undermine the system they are so comfortable with.
As for the prominent economists, who are skeptical about crypto and blockchain — we can see that their opinion is often based on events of the past and attempts that failed. Does it necessarily mean that blockchain will fail, too? Time will show.
Of course, the first generation of crypto had its flaws. Probably Bitcoin will not be here in 50 years, or will change greatly (after all, it was not designed to replace everything we have had for centuries). But many people, including major investors and economists, believe that crypto in general is on its progressive growth. There are some haters, too — the bigger is the project, the more enemies it acquires along the way.
It’s ok — to develop in a healthy way you need both kinds of guys.
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