American economist Nouriel Roubini aka Dr Doom recently declared his contempt for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in a debate with the promotor of the cryptocurrency, Roger Ver. The debate was a part of this year’s CC Forum – Blockchain and AI Investment Forum in London in which Dr Doom publicly announced that BCH is a “shitcoin”.
Dr Doom Vs Roger Ver – Is Crypto a Store of Value or Not?
The topic of the debate was “Will cryptocurrencies fail or succeed?” Roubini began by refuting the opinion that cryptocurrencies are actually currencies on the grounds that they were not a sound, stable store of value and therefore, could not be used for payments. Bitcoin and thousands of other cryptocurrencies were not used for pricing goods and services. He also talked Bitcoin’s lack of scalability. Roger Ver responded to the Roubini’s points by reminding him that the market cap of cryptocurrencies had grown over $200 billion in just 10 years. About Roubini’s point on using crypto for payments, Ver cited the example of Bitcoin Cash, which, he said, could do more than a 100 transactions per second globally for free.
However, Roubini wasn’t convinced. To substantiate his point about crypto not being a stable store of value, he remarked that Bitcoin was 60% below the peak, whereas Roger Ver’s Bitcoin Cash was 95% below the peak this year, further saying that assets which lost 95% of their value in just 12 months were a joke. Ver, however, had an analogy to prove that even fiat lost its value. He cited the example of the Japanese Yen, saying that today, 10,000 Yen were equivalent to about 90 USD. However, not a long time, a single Yen could buy an ounce of silver. Today, the piece of paper which was worth about 90 USD, had a value of about 20,000 USD in the past.
Is Crypto Useful in the Event of Geopolitical Shock?
The moderator of the debate then pointed that crypto usage increased in the event of recession, citing the example of the Greek government debt crisis. Roubini, as expected, refused to acknowledge the same. Instead, he said that cryptocurrency usage, and the number of transactions and users had collapsed since the all-time high of crypto in 2017. Ver was quick in pointing out that Roubini was “cherry-picking” his data. Crypto usage today was much higher than it was even a year before the market cap had had hit its 2017 ATH.
Dr Doom then cited the example of the rise of the internet. From 1990 to 2000, it had garnered billions of users and websites, and some important applications like email. But with crypto, that has not been the case. Bitcoin only has 50 MM users officially and half of them are dead. When it comes to DApps, the most popular DApps are Crypto Kitties, Casino Games or Ponzi Schemes. Ver again quoted the example of how movement of money had emerged as the strongest use case of crypto – millions of users transacting with one another without any barriers.
McAfee Okay With Terrorist Activities Happening Through his Exchange
At a point during the debate, the moderator brought up John McAfee’s new decentralised exchange, which did not have any KYC requirements. He shared that McAfee, in an earlier session, was asked about his opinion on how would he feel if a terrorist was caught and it was proven that they had used his exchange to commit the terrorist act. To this, McAfee responded that he would be okay. In support of McAfee’s answer, Ver said that US dollar was the currency that being used the most in terrorist activities, but that did not mean that the world would stop using the currency.
“Your Shitcoin Collapsed 95% in a Year” – Roubini to Ver
The debate delved into the right and wrong of crypto with Roger Ver repeating that people should be allowed to have control over their money and Roubini stressing over and over again that the kind of financial anarchy that Ver talking about had never existed and never would. At one point, Roubini had an outburst where he had said that it had taken a 100 years for the dollar to collapse 95% whereas Roger Ver’s “shitcoin” collapsed in a year. He said –
“[It] took a year for your shitcoin to collapse 95%. It’s worth nothing.”
An infuriated Roubini further said that Ver did not believe in the government, but buying explosives on the internet was his idea of freedom. Roubini even personally attacked Ver by bringing up the point of him having spent time in jail. Ver used this point to his advantage and pointed out that Roubini was losing the argument as he had started “attacking the person rather than the arguments here.”
Bitcoin is Not Decentralised But the Traditional Financial System Is – Roubini
The debate shifted to the topic of centralisation and decentralisation. Roubini argued that the traditional financial system was decentralised as it had thousands of financial institutions and hundreds of banks and currencies involved in controlling it, whereas Bitcoin was centralised because 80% of mining was in the control of a few hands and 99% of cryptocurrency exchanges were centralised. To this, Ver said that decentralisation was not the main argument in favour of cryptocurrencies and its only purpose was to make cryptocurrency censorship-resistant.
The debate concluded with questions from the audience, and in this, Roger Ver, supporting cryptocurrencies because of the financial freedom they offered to users, was a clear winner.