Blockchain

Cryptocurrency ‘More Centralized than North Korea’: NYU Economist

Cryptocurrency ‘More Centralized than North Korea’: NYU Economist

New York University (NYU) economist Nouriel Roubini is scheduled to testify later this week during a U.S. Senate hearing on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, and the noted bitcoin basher appears to be preparing for his testimony by trying out some new criticisms of the nascent asset class.

Ethereum Co-Creator a ‘Dictator for Life’

Writing on Twitter, Roubini alleged that it is a myth to say that cryptocurrency is decentralized, stating that in this respect the ecosystem is worse than North Korea. In addition to the usual suspects of mining firms and cryptocurrency exchanges, he alleged that developers such as Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin are “centralized dictators.”

“Decentralization in crypto is a myth. It is a system more centralized than North Korea: miners are centralized, exchanges are centralized, developers are centralized dictators (Buterin is ‘dictator for life’ ) & the Gini inequality coefficient of bitcoin is worse than North Korea,” he said.

It’s not the first time that Roubini, nicknamed “Dr. Doom” for his oft-bearish economic forecasts, particularly in the lead-up to the Great Recession, has taken aim at alleged centralization within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Earlier this year, while participating in a heated panel discussion on cryptocurrency at the Milken Institute Global conference in Los Angeles, Roubini said that the idea that bitcoin is decentralized is “bulls–t” and that a blockchain is just a “glorified Excel spreadsheet.”

The Stern School of Business professor has also at various points lambasted cryptocurrency supporters as “Hodl nuts” and “cyber terrorists,” among a variety of other colorful epithets. He has further responded with glee to every major bitcoin price decline, although his most bearish prediction — that bitcoin will go to zero — has not yet been realized.

Dr. Doom to Testify at Senate Blockchain Hearing

Later this week, on Thursday, Roubini will testify before a Senate hearing on blockchain technology. He will be joined by Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at cryptocurrency lobbying group Coin Center.

It remains to be seen what epithets Roubini will pull out of his quiver as he seeks to dissuade lawmakers from creating a favorable climate for cryptocurrency development. However, if his Twitter feed is any guide, they will be creative — and they will be colorful.

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