By CCN.com: Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are the mother and father of all bubbles, and blockchain is nothing more than a “fancy database.” That’s what bitcoin-bashing New York University professor Nouriel Roubini said at the 2019 Blockchain Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Speaking on a one-person panel (perhaps so no one can challenge his anti-crypto FUD?), Roubini gloated over the current bear market. He insists that he was proven right in his rabid, longstanding opposition to bitcoin.
Moreover, Roubini says crypto and blockchain have no place in the upcoming fintech revolution because they’re merely flashes in the pan.
“I do believe there is going to be a revolution in financial services. That revolution is called fintech,” Roubini said. “But my reading of fintech is that it has nothing to do with blockchain, and nothing to do with crypto.”
While Roubini’s anti-bitcoin stance is nothing new, his wholesale dismissal of blockchain sets him apart from other mainstream crypto critics.
Even prominent bitcoin bashers like billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates have praised blockchain as a game-changing innovation that could revolutionize banking, supply-chain management, and health care.
But Roubini remains unconvinced of its merits. “What we’re seeing with blockchain has already been done in the private sector, with the IBMs of the world,” he claimed.
Besides, blockchain is an over-hyped “fancy database” that’s “no better than an Excel spreadsheet,” he huffed.
Roubini also says that a cryptocurrency-based payment system would never succeed because it’s inefficient and slow. “Any crypto payment system is a problem,” he said.
Besides, most cryptocurrencies are not currencies anyway, he insisted.
They’re not a unit of account. They’re not a means of payment, and they’re not a stable store of value. You cannot have something that is scalable and decentralized and secure.
In the case of bitcoin, you can only do something like 5 transactions per second. Visa allows you to do 25,000 transactions per second.
Roubini also mocked crypto news websites for getting all excited whenever they hear rumors about a central bank launching a digital currency.
“Those things are never going to have anything to do with cryptocurrencies or blockchain,” he insists.
Besides, if and when a central bank decides to launch its own digital currency, it would dominate all cryptocurrencies and render them obsolete, Roubini says. “It’s also going to dominate the current models of digital payment systems,” he claims.
Effectively, what does [a central bank digital currency] mean? Is it a cryptocurrency? No. Is it based on blockchain? No. It’s like the current system: It’s a centralized ledger. It’s totally monitored by the central bank.
So basically, Roubini says the crypto industry shouldn’t hope for a central bank-backed digital currency because it would be the death knell of all cryptocurrencies and spell the end of current digital payment systems such as PayPal.
“Because why would you use those ones and pay even a small fee, when you could do it for free with a central bank?” he asked.
Naturally, crypto entrepreneurs with skin in the name disregard Nouriel Roubini’s dismissal of the entire industry.
As CCN.com reported, Jeremy Allaire ― the CEO of crypto unicorn Circle ― says humanity cannot survive the digital age without crypto.
“Cryptography is at the foundation of protecting modern society, human privacy,” Allaire said (video above). “It’s a fundamental tool of our cyber defenses. It’s a fundamental tool of every corporation.”
Allaire noted that modern society relies on digital infrastructure. Accordingly, humanity ultimately won’t be able to survive the digital age without digital currencies.
“Crypto is fundamental to the future. We need tamper-proof, resilient, decentralized infrastructure if we want society to survive the digital age. We see this as much more transformative even than the web.”