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Bitcoin Lobbyist, ‘Dr. Doom’ to Square Off Next Week in Senate Blockchain Hearing

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:47 PM
Kevin O'Brien
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:47 PM

The U.S. senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is set  to have a full committee hearing on Oct. 11 entitled “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and blockchain Ecosystem.”

At the upcoming hearing, the two witnesses currently scheduled are Coin Center Director of Research Peter Van Valkenburgh, and New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini.

Roubini, a noted economist, is well-known for his disdain towards cryptocurrency and blockchain, and for the often colorful manner by which he expresses his opinions.

Dr. Doom: Bitcoin is a Speculative Bubble

Roubini currently serves as a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

He gained the moniker of “Dr. Doom” while predicting the 2008 financial crisis before it started. He is now one of the globe’s most respected economists.

He has long been an adamant basher of bitcoin, remarking in November of last year that the popular cryptocurrency is not a good way to store capital or a serious payment method.

Dr. Doom added to his pessimism about the virtual currency in May, remarking that “there is no decentralization, it’s just bulls–t” at the yearly Milken Institute conference.

He also launched an assault on blockchain technology, referring it to nothing more than a “glorified Excel spreadsheet.” Roubini remained resolute in his beliefs even after being challenged by other members of a cryptocurrency panel during the conference.

In July, Roubini maintained bitcoin was not a currency since it is not a stable store of value, a unit of account, nor a means of payment.

Remaining Resolute

Roubini, who has previously called bitcoin enthusiasts “Hodl nuts” and “cyber terrorists,” has also not been shy about sharing thoughts on smart contracts.

In June, he tweeted out that smart contracts are “not contracts as no court can enforce them,” writing that “the only courts in crypto land are the crypto developers’ kangaroo courts.”

Many fired back against Roubini’s comments, but bitcoin developer Jimmy Song made a remark that actually seemed to paint him as more of an ally towards Roubini’s position.

According to Song:

“The dirty secret of smart contracts is that they’re of very limited usefulness and extremely hard to secure. More limitation is required here, not more ways to screw up. The hype and the engineering reality are extremely divergent.”

Notably, a hearing by the Committee in February concerning digital currencies featured comments  by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. At the time, Clayton remarked on how he might ask for additional crypto-related legislation down the road. Aside from Clayton, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo also gave his remarks  as a congressional witness.

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