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Nouriel Roubini has doubled down on his longstanding hatred for bitcoin, ranting this week that the flagship cryptocurrency is “bulls–t” and that blockchain technology is not much more valuable.
Roubini, who participated in a panel discussion on cryptocurrencies at the annual Milken Institute Global conference in Los Angeles, unleashed a verbal assault on bitcoin that will not be soon forgotten.
“There is no decentralization, it’s just bulls–t,” Roubini said, adding that a blockchain is just a “glorified Excel spreadsheet.”
The panel, which also featured industry executives such as Abra CEO Bill Barhydt, was titled “Cryptocurrencies: Irrational Exuberance or Brave New World?” and there was little doubt about Roubini’s opinion on the matter
According to another account, the New York University (NYU) economist — who earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” for anticipating the financial crisis a decade ago — repeated that colorful epithet at least three more times as his fellow panelists returned fire.
“Everything you just said is irrelevant,” shot back Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius Network, who also challenged Roubini to “buy one coin and then tell us how it works.”
“I don’t even know where to begin,” added Barhydt, it’s “like a horse salesman saying we don’t need combustion engines.”
Roubini decried bitcoin as a bubble — a refrain he has repeated since 2014 — arguing that bitcoin investors, particularly those who invested while it was trading near its all-time high, are “suckers.”
In the past, he has referred to bitcoin enthusiasts as “Hodl nuts” and “cyber terrorists,” as well as a variety of other not-so-affectionate nicknames.
Eventually, the session moderator was forced to call a timeout as the panel — which was held alongside a much less colorful interview with Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives — descended into a shouting match that one journalist in attendance described as a “cryptobrawl.”
“Where this all goes, I don’t think anyone knows,” said Brett McIntosh, a US Treasury official who also participated in the panel. “I may need to step in and regulate this panel.”
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