Prominent bitcoin detractor Nouriel Roubini, a professor of economics at the New York University Stern School of Business, has, not for the first, nor probably the last, time denounced the emergent technology that is blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Speaking at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Community Affairs, the Turkish-born economist, known colloquially as “Dr. Doom” for his seemingly permanent bearishness, said digital currencies are the “mother of all bubbles” and, in fact, have entered an apocalypse.
Further reading: Nouriel Roubini says bitcoin is ‘bulls—t’ and only attracts ‘suckers’
‘It is clear by now that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies represent the mother of all bubbles, which explains why literally every human being I met between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2017 asked me first if they should buy them.’
Roubini said with a crypto bloodbath in full steam, proponents have turned to blockchain, the underlying ledger technology that cryptocurrencies run on, to hitch their wagon to. “The new refuge of the crypto scoundrels is blockchain, the technology underlying crypto that is now alleged to be the cure of all global problems, including poverty, famines and even diseases,” he said.
Citing scalability issues and a lack of decentralization, the bitcoin skeptic said blockchain technology is “nothing better than a glorified spreadsheet or database.”
Scalability refers to the ability of cryptocurrencies to process increasing volumes of transactions efficiently and has proved to be a significant roadblock to real-world use cases.
can process around five transactions per second. and ethereum, the popular smart-contract based blockchain, can process anywhere between 10 and 15 per second, whereas companies like Visa
can handle more than 5,000 per second.
Read: A team at Northwestern thinks it’s solved one of bitcoin’s biggest problems
As for the crowdfunding tool that crypto-related ventures use to raise money, Roubini, also not a fan, said this: “[H]undreds of other cryptocurrencies are invented every day, alongside scams known as initial coin offerings, which are mostly designed to skirt securities laws.”
Read: Are cash-strapped ICOs behind Ether’s underperformance?
Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.