The Ten Most Outlandish Criticisms of Bitcoin and Crypto Ever Uttered
Crypto has many detractors. Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett stand out as two of the more antagonistic. JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon has often declared his hatred for digital currencies. And noted economist Nouriel Roubini has been a long-term critic. But who lays claim to making the most absurd, outrageous, or outlandish criticisms of bitcoin and crypto?
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Number Ten — Nouriel Roubini on Smart Contracts
The famed economist is a deeply intelligent man, so when he speaks it is generally worth listening. But at last week’s BlockShow conference in Las Vegas, Roubini lambasted bitcoin, altcoins, and ICOs, seemingly taking joy in the bearish sentiment to engulf the market in 2018.
But he was particularly targeted on smart contracts:
“They’re neither smart nor contracts.”
Number Nine — Bill Gates on Shorting Bitcoin
Criticisms of bitcoin and crypto flow thick and fast from the Microsoft founder. Bill Gates was so bearish on bitcoin, he told CNBC panelists on Squawk Box that:
“As an asset class, you’re not producing anything and so you shouldn’t expect it to go up. It’s kind of a pure greater fool theory type of investment. I agree I would short it if there was an easy way to do it.”
But wait a minute! On the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini exchange, no less, you can!
Dear @BillGates there is an easy way to short bitcoin. You can short #XBT, the @CBOE Bitcoin (USD) Futures contract, and put your money where your mouth is! cc @CNBC @WarrenBuffett https://t.co/4JIhF5vWsZ
— Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss) May 7, 2018
Number Eight — Barclays Bank’s Joseph Abate on the Bitcoin Disease
In a nod to tomfoolery over genuine discussion, Abate published a Barclays Plc analysis of bitcoin in which he likened cryptocurrency interest to an infectious disease. His description of the way the disease spreads reads:
“As more of the population become asset holders, the share of the population available to become new buyers — the potential ‘host’ population — falls, while the share of the population that are potential sellers (‘recoveries’) increases. Eventually, this leads to a plateauing of prices, and progressively, as random shocks to the larger supply population push up the ratio of sellers to buyers, prices begin to fall. That induces speculative selling pressure as price declines are projected forward exponentially.”
Number Seven — Charlie Munger on the Immorality of Bitcoin
In a fiery interview with Yahoo Finance, Charlie Munger called bitcoin:
“anti-social, stupid and immoral.”
OK, so you may not like it. But immoral?
Number Six — Munger on Freshly Harvested Baby Brains
Munger appears hell-bent on outdoing himself, and ranks three times in the top ten most outlandish criticisms of bitcoin and crypto. Here he is at his most absurd:
“Suppose you could make a lot of money trading freshly harvested baby brains. Would you do it? To me bitcoin is almost as bad.”
Now we see where gets “immoral” from.
Number Five — Warren Buffett’s Rat Poison Squared
The biggest takeaway from Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting in 2018 was what he told CNBC in an interview immediately after. The Oracle of Omaha described bitcoin as:
“probably rat poison squared.”
And no. We’re not making that up.
Number Four — Bill Gates on Cryptocurrency’s Death Toll
Bill Gates takes the fourth spot on the list with his outrageous link between bitcoin and Fentanyl. Not only does it ignore the link between U.S. dollar bills and Fentanyl, but it also overlooks Fentanyl’s legitimate medicinal properties.
It is worth noting that Fentanyl is on the World Health Organization’s list of Essential Medicines. It’s difficult to imagine executives of Janssen Pharmaceutica conspiring, “Let’s submit an application to the FDA for a drug that can get people high.”
“Right now, cryptocurrencies are used for buying Fentanyl and other drugs, so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly-direct way.”
Check out the full AMA on Reddit.
Number Three — Charlie Munger on Crooks, Crazies, and Egomaniacs
Charlie Munger is back with a vengeance at the number three spot. The investor loves the spotlight. He loves to spit venom and be reported by news outlets for his outlandish commentary. And on outlandish criticisms of bitcoin and crypto, he has proven himself a master. To be fair, he can be entertaining. His highest rated gem has to be this:
“Give a whole lot of things a wide berth. They don’t exist. Crooks, crazies, egomaniacs, people full of resentment, people full of self-pity, people who feel like victims, there’s a whole lot of things that aren’t going to work for you. Figure out what they are and avoid them like the plague. One of them is Bitcoin.”
Number Two — Jamie Dimon on Bitcoin and His Own Daughter
Jamie Dimon is a notorious bitcoin cynic, feeling it has little place in today’s financial markets, despite his firm’s surreptitious involvement in it.
“If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price some day.”
But what about his own daughter, who admitted to owning bitcoin? Well… apparently she’s not all that smart anymore, described by the JPMorgan head as “my formerly smart daughter.”
Number One — Former PayPal CEO, Bill Harris
Not perhaps the most colorful of bitcoin antagonism, nor the loudest. But this insight is easily the most ridiculous insofar as it demonstrates a belief in two fallacies: cash has never been used in crime and crypto is only used for illegitimate purposes.
“Cryptocurrency is best-suited for one use: Criminal activity. Because transactions can be anonymous — law enforcement cannot easily trace who buys and sells — its use is dominated by illegal endeavors.”
Just because crypto can be used for crime, doesn’t make crime its only use case. That’s the kind of logic that belongs in an Elementary School sandpit.
Have your say. Can you think of any other outlandish criticisms of bitcoin and crypto?
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