Addressing Bloomberg TV audiences during the annual event in Davos, Switzerland, the professor and Nobel Prize winner said that cracking down on “secret” Bitcoin use cases would “regulate it out of existence.”
“We have a good medium of exchange called the dollar. We can trade in that. Why do people want bitcoin? For secrecy,” he said.
Stiglitz was joined by Swiss National Bank chairman Thomas Jordan, who in a speech also argued for tough restrictions on how Bitcoin can be used.
“There is an important principle: Similar activities should be similarly regulated,” he told listeners, “and Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have some characteristics of other investment instruments.”
“You can’t, on the one hand, heavily restrict cash and on the other hand permit fully anonymous instruments that to a great extent can be used for all manner of transactions.”
The WEF has traditionally brought together proponents, opponents and fence-sitters on Bitcoin and Blockchain technology, with Cointelegraph in attendance at this year’s event.
While cryptocurrency markets continue in a bearish cycle this month, Bitcoin price forecasts have become decidedly more down to earth, while outright critics have also softened their stance.
Fellow Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller, who in September 2017 described Bitcoin as “the best example of a bubble,” went on record last week to say he “doesn’t know what to make of Bitcoin ultimately.”