In this life, you can always spin your view of the world into whatever reality you hope to create. If…
Williams has an interesting history with the Bitcoin concept, as most assuredly he is not one for the first-hand experience of ownership. He infamously stated last year that Bitcoin has the power to “harm nations, economies, and global commerce,” and that Bitcoin value would drop to around $10 by mid-2014. He also added his fear-mongering to Bloomberg TV earlier this year as well, in the presence of established Bitcoin icon Andreas Antonopoulos. If anything, Williams has proven to be a fountain of misinformation. Antonopoulos was just asked by the Canadian Parliament to educate government members about how Bitcoin works in October. In turn, the World Bank saw fit to bring in Williams to educate all on Bitcoin, without first-hand experience with the digital currency, given his impressive track record speaking on the topic.
He revealed his Top 10 Reasons to Avoid Using Bitcoin since his agenda is pretty clear-cut at this point. Here is a synopsis of his ten-point diatribe.
1. Bitcoin is not legal tender, at least in the U.S.: "It is a voluntary currency, and its use as a transactional currency is limited to those willing to accept it." (This only included about 100k merchants worldwide, including Dish Network, Tesla Motors and Dell Computers. Minor endorsements.)
2. Sovereign attack risk: "Governments exercise a monopoly power on currency creation with the understanding that doing so will provide its citizens with a greater level of economic stability." (Do I need to say anything here? He should have avoided this point like The Plague.)
3. Significant consumer protection risk: "There are no laws in place protecting consumers against theft, fraud or human error.....Bitcoin.....eliminates banks as a financial middleman and in doing so also eliminate the legal protections offered by such structures." (Many would make that trade seven days a week, not having to deal with banks, and their fees, interest rates, and privacy intrusions, plus the direct investment into a corrupt financial pyramid.)
4. Extreme financial risk is due to price volatility. (Your "extreme" risk is based upon your investment amount.)
5. Extreme risk can quickly erase company profit margins: "This triple-digit annual price risk makes Bitcoin more suitable for Wall Street type trading companies possessing sophisticated management systems, controls and tolls than for merchants." (Merchants aren't exposed to downside Bitcoin risk as services like BitPay will swap the funds into US Dollars at the end of each business day, if desired. Or, the merchant can leave a percentage in to appreciate, like Overstock.com does. It's upside dwarfs dollars or any fiat currency, which is designed to lose value every day it exists.)
6. Bitcoin is a hyper asset bubble in the process of deflating: "Bitcoin - Big bubble or big innovation," reads one of the slides. (Deflation or Stagflation is one of the Bitcoins virtues, as it is anti-inflationary, unlike fiat currency. Deflation is bad for fiat currency but good for sound money concepts like Bitcoin.)
7. Growing concentration and bankruptcy risk to financial middleman: "Risk-mitigation services of firms such as Coinbase and Bitpay.....don't eliminate system-wide Bitcoin price risk but simply warehouse the risk on their books." (Massive risks are in every currency system, be it the Bernie Madoff $20 Billion Ponzi Scheme or the U.S. government confiscating civil servant's retirement accounts to bail-out a bankrupt Detroit municipal system.)
8. Bitcoin Exchange Bankruptcy Risk: (A somewhat legitimate point, yet a U.S. bank collapses every four days. Even though your money is FDIC-ensured, the amount of time it takes to recoup your losses of this much more frequent event than the lone Bitcoin exchange closure can vary.)
9. Bitcoin use can trigger significant tax risk: "Bitcoin has been designated by the IRS.....as property.....unlike 'legal tender,' consumers that use Bitcoin can be subject to additional taxes." (As if any other "property" based on the U.S. Tax Code should be avoided? And the tax only applies if the Bitcoin is redeemed for dollars, as of this moment.)
10. Transactional Fraud Risk – Double Spending (Which doesn't make any sense, since a Bitcoin has never been duplicated or double-spent, the whole idea behind Blockchain technology to begin with.)
In closing, if "The World Bank" wanted facts and true education on Bitcoin and its real-world potential, they would've sought out Andreas Antonopoulos's counsel. At a minimum, as an experienced sage countering Williams' specious and skewed vantage point, as a hating outsider, looking in. They would not have commissioned the debunked Mark Thomas Williams in the first place. Garbage in, garbage out.
I contend that they did not want the truth about Bitcoin, or else they would've brought in a professional, or at least someone who owns the currency, and uses it daily. Anyone would've been more credible or educated on Bitcoin than the debunked Boston University professor. You are judged by those with whom you chose to associate with, and "The World Bank" chose to scrape the bottom of the barrel, and avoid the Bitcoin community altogether. At least now we know where they stand, in practice.
What do you think of the latest from Williams? Comment below!
Images from Shutterstock.
Last modified (UTC): November 12, 2014 6:00 AM