Perennial Bitcoin basher and anti-cryptocurrency campaigner, Nouriel Roubini and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin had a heated debate at the second edition of the Deconomy blockchain event in Seoul, South Korea.
Broken Record: Roubini Has Nothing New to Say
Nouriel ‘Dr. Doom’ Roubini – a New York University economics professor regurgitated his old hits, calling cryptocurrency a bubble and saying that it was only useful to criminals and tax evaders looking to launder money with virtual currencies as the “New Swiss bank.”
However, having made the above assertions, Roubini then goes on to say:
I don’t think crypto payments for criminal activity is going be the future of it. They’re not anonymous and even for cryptos that try to be anonymous like Monero, kleptocratic governments will make sure your wallet is registered.
Dr. Doom also relived some other hits like price manipulation claims, pump and dump schemes, exchange hacks as well as ICO fraud as reasons why cryptocurrencies are worthless. Roubini debunked the assertion that virtual currencies represented an emerging financial system, instead, calling them an inefficient barter system that will never overcome the “trilemma of decentralization, security, and scalability.”
In response, Buterin countered Roubini on many of his claims especially regarding the anonymity of cryptos providing cover for criminal activities. According to the Ethereum co-founder, any convenience offered by cryptocurrencies as a payment means is enjoyed by all; whether for “unconventional activities” or otherwise.
Buterin: ‘There Are Definetely Some Real Concerns’
Buterin also chided Roubini’s skewered criticism which fails to take into account the many benefits of cryptocurrency adoption. The Ethereum co-founder pointed to the convenience of making international payments via virtual currency, as well as, the added benefit of cryptocurrencies being censorship-resistant.
As for the perceived inefficiencies in the technology, Buterin highlighted the continuous stream of technological advancements currently ongoing in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Commenting on cryptocurrency trilemma, Buterin opined:
There are definitely some real concerns but they’re an artifact of the tech as it exists in 2019, rather than inherent. The trilemma didn’t come with mathematical proofs. It is not impossible to have scalability and decentralization and security.
— R3 (@inside_r3) April 4, 2019
Facts Trump Sentiments When It Comes to Cryptocurrency
Some of Roubini’s criticisms come from a lack of understanding of the technology
Nocoiners like Roubini present Bitcoin to be this shadowy construct that allows criminals to carry out illegal activities with ease. However, the facts say differently.
Japan’s National Police Agency earlier in the year revealed that 98.3 percent of all recorded money laundering cases in the country for 2018 didn’t involve cryptocurrency. Intelligence agencies still report that terrorists have trouble adopting cryptocurrency to fund jihadist activities.
Meanwhile, major banks like Danske Bank get indicted for money laundering to the tune of $325 billion. As reported by Bitcoinist, anti-Bitcoin banks have paid more than $240 billion in fines for money laundering indictments since the financial crisis of 2008.
Warren Buffett is another Bitcoin basher who has previously called the top-ranked cryptocurrency “rat poison.” Never mind that Berkshire Hathaway (owned by Buffett) has a ten percent stake in Wells Fargo, a bank with 93 violations and more than $14 billion in penalty fines.
Do you still pay attention to the opinions of nocoiners like Roubini? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, Twitter (@DecentralizedF and @inside_r3)