Crypto industry figures have criticised testimony given by the respected economist Professor Nouriel Roubini’s to the US Senate Committee on banking, housing and urban affairs about cryptocurrency and blockchain.
Professor Roubini spoke with the committee on 11 October 2018, and in prepared remarks described bitcoin and other crypto-currencies as “the mother and father of all bubbles” that had already burst. He also argued that cryptocurrencies are not stable forms of value or payment, noting the volatility in coin prices.
“Roubini’s testimony and prepared remarks offer an incorrect characterization of the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, said Ken Lang, ndau Collective member,
Some of his critiques are legitimate – no one is disputing that volatility represents a barrier to cryptocurrencies becoming a true store of value. However, he ignores the potential for the industry to adapt and evolve over time.”
Professor Roubini spoke as a witness at the committee as part of its “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and blockchain Ecosystem” hearing. His testimony also noted the environmental cost of crypto mining and cryptocurrencies’ associations with illegal activities such as fraud and terrorism.
“Roubini’s prepared remarks argue that cryptocurrencies are not a viable unit of account, means of payment or store of value,” said Ken Nguyen, CEO of Republic.
Bitcoin and ether are very much viable means of payment, and their “stored value” characteristics are not disputed by market participants or regulators. Any deficiency to date with respect to scalability or absolute decentralization can and will be improved over time. CoinCenter’s viewpoints are more nuanced and balanced, but that’s not what gets the attention these days.”
Coin Center Director of Research Peter Van Valkenburgh also gave evidence to the committee about the cryptocurrency markets and blockchain technology.
A professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, Roubini was one of the few economists who issued warnings before the economic crash of 2008. His prepared testimony also argued that fintech was likely to be a more potent force for change than any developments within blockchain as businesses adapt to incorporate AI, IoT and big data into their processes.