Category Archives: Dr Doom

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Bitcoin: The Cat with 90 Lives

the year 2018 has experienced an abundance of negativity, with cryptocurrency detractors predicting the imminent collapse of digital currencies led by Bitcoin’s decline and fall.

Bitcoin’s late recovery towards the final days leading up to the festive season served as a reminder to critics that the world’s most used cryptocurrency and its followers weren’t going anywhere any time soon.

According to the Bitcoin Obituaries webpage, the cryptocurrency has “died” 90 times in 2018. That becomes 336 times that the flagship cryptocurrency had died over the past decade since Bitcoin came into being in the hands of those known Satoshi.

Since then it has been, hyped, blown out of the water, predicted to soar into the millions of dollars or left for dead. It’s been a media circus. The Bitcoin Obituaries webpage hosted on the site 99 Bitcoins has seen 90 death claims occur through the many bearish moments that Bitcoin has had to endure in what has been a difficult year.

The last death call of 2018 by Seeking Alpha author Anthony Garcia titled ‘Bitcoin: the decline is fundamental, unsolvable, and the end of BTC’. It predicted the end was nigh… again.

“Bitcoin is literally worth nothing — Bitcoin has no chance of success because it’s worthless. It has nothing backing it but an illusion; no gold or silver or even a decree that it’s legal tender. It has no intrinsic value and no one needs it.”

Other comments worth mentioning, if only for FUD rhetoric, include Nouriel Roubini’s (aka Dr Doom) remarks in October when he referred to crypto enthusiasts as “scoundrels” and saying that “Bitcoin has been called the ‘mother of all bubbles’”.

The oldest of these obituaries written in 2010, according to 99 Bitcoins, claimed that the asset then sitting at USD 0.23 would never become a currency, stating: “Either it will remain a novelty forever or it will transition from novelty status to dead faster than you can blink.”

Many blinks later, Bitcoin is sitting at USD 3,806.50, used all over the world for transactions and being considered by some of the world’s largest banking institutions.

Time to think again, maybe? Predictions can be embarrassing when they catch up with reality.

 

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Global Conference Fireworks Over Crypto

A recent panel discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills became heated when panelists aired their conflicting views on the future of cryptocurrency.

Every seat in the conference auditorium was filled for the discussion which included United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Christopher Giancarlo, economist Nouriel Roubini, and Commissioner at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Michael Piwowar.

SEC’s commissioner Piwowar, issued an early warning, making reference to the current argument surrounding ICOs, which has occupied much debate recently, suggesting that if an ICO token is a security it falls into one of three categories:

“The first is the registered public offerings; this is the normal IPO, public offer. We’ve not had anybody register a public offering for an ICO. The next bucket is exempt offerings, so if you have an ICO, you have to fit into one of those types of exempted. And the third bucket is illegal […] if you are not falling into the first two buckets, we’ve said we’re coming after you.”

Piwowar added, “Bitcoin itself is not a security, but these customized tokens for these initial coin offering – most of them are.”

Christopher Giancarlo was upbeat,  suggesting that there should be more respect for the generation’s “new instrument”, referring to cryptocurrencies, and said that rather than derision, markets needed policy initiatives that were “thoughtful and forward-looking”. He continued:

“There is something going on here that is generational… Just as the baby boomer generation lost faith in the leaders that came before them and tried to seek a cultural change in those days through sex, drugs and rock and roll, I think there is a generation that also has lost faith in us that led them through the financial crisis and they see technology as a way of disintermediating institutions for which they don’t have a great deal of respect.”

He went on to explain the CFTC’s problems of applying outmoded regulations to completely new technology.

Nouriel Roubini, tagged as ‘Dr Doom’, an economist known for predicting the 2008 financial crisis, caused friction when describing blockchain as “a glorified Excel spreadsheet” and described investors entering the Bitcoin market “bubble” in 2017 as “suckers.”

His description of decentralization as bullsh*t provoked blockchain entrepreneur Alex Macshinsky to respond, “Everything you just said is irrelevant.”

Ex-CIA cryptographer Bill Barhydt, clearly bemused by Roubini’s comments, retorted with “I don’t even know where to begin”.

 

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