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Ethereum Creator, NYU Economist Go to War On Twitter, Mull Public Debate

Neil Mathew
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:49 PM

Ever since Nouriel Roubini appeared before the United States Senate Committee On Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, to discuss cryptocurrencies – he has certainly been causing quite the commotion with regards to the cryptocurrency community.  

Roubini vs Buterin

This is not surprising, considering the famed economist shared several controversial statements about bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, such as stating that “only criminals and terrorists use crypto”, and that “utility tokens take us back to the stone age”.  He has also taken specific aim at Vitalik Buterin on Twitter earlier this month, likening  the Ethereum founder to a “dictator for life”.

Buterin responded sarcastically that he “officially predicts a financial crisis between now and 2021”.  This is clearly a reference to the fact that many credit Roubini with predicting  the global financial crisis of 2008, for which he received the nickname “Dr. Doom”.  

A Possible Debate

Despite his apparent dislike for the cryptocurrency community, Roubini has indicated that he is open to a live debate with Vitalik Buterin, an idea initially set forth by Laura Shin , who invited both to debate on her podcast, Unchained, one of the most popular cryptocurrency-focused podcasts in the world.  Buterin has indicated that he is open to a debate, but Roubini dismissed  Ms. Shin as a pseudo-journalist, suggesting that the moderator have less of a bias.

Buterin responded  with the suggestion of Kevin Pham as a moderator.  One of the reasons Mr. Pham might be an obvious choice is that he clearly isn’t a fan of Buterin, and even suggested earlier this year that the Etherem co-founder is colluding  with the Russian government.

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitmex, offered to pay for all of the production costs involved with the debate, and offered New York or London as possible locations.  Roubini was less than ecstatic with the offer, calling Bitmex a “criminal scam ”.

Roubini also eventually responded to the suggestion of Pham as a moderator, quoting  a tweet of his and suggesting that he is “thuggish”.

Many are confused as to whether this debate happening is a serious possibility, but that hasn’t stopped Twitter users from suggesting possible moderators.  Some suggestions appear to be more serious than others, but some names that have been floated include John McAfee, Joe Rogan, and the Dalai Lama.