At the prestigious CC Forum conference in London, organizers managed to gather crypto enthusiasts and a frank and authoritative enemy of crypto on one stage. And the enemy was put to shame.
Organizers of the panel discussion declare: “Believe us, it was very difficult to bring them together!” It’s not hard to believe, because Nouriel Roubini, the eternal enemy of cryptocurrencies, and Craig Wright, scandalous “inventor of bitcoin”, gathered on the same stage. In addition to them, the discussion was supported by Brock Pierce, actor and Bitcoin billionaire, founder of Blockchain Capital; Bobby Lee, co-founder and CEO of BTCC (formerly BTCChina) and Toni Vays, a trader and popular YouTuber.
Professors Nuriel Roubini, of course – the most authoritative and honored of the debaters. As a leading specialist in macroeconomics, he began a discussion and emphasized that the economy faces dozens of risks. They are associated primarily with the trade wars of the USA and China, but the general processes of de-globalization weaken the economy and break ties, lead to fragmentation and “supply shocks”. The UK, as part of this process, is experiencing shocks from Brexit in the first place. Big problems are in the Middle East in connection with Iran and attacks on Saudi Arabia. The troubles are added by migratory flows and even technical improvements that free up jobs while fueling unemployment.
Brock Pierce agreed and added – in general, hundreds of things can go wrong! And as a lawyer for crypto, he nevertheless admitted that cryptocurrencies are not yet ready to help the economy, since they have not yet received widespread adoption. But there is hope for this, innovation should lead to this. Therefore, today he is not interested in the traditional stock market (I’m not a fan of stocks, bonds and I’m very nervous!)
Roubini is known for predicting the 2008 crisis. According to him, 30 years of his academic career and work at the White House under Clinton helped him predict the crisis. In contrast to the idea of a “black swan” about the unpredictability of crises, which was expressed by Nassim Taleb in his book, Roubini speaks of “white swans” – signs of a crisis that can be noticed. Crises are predictable, in his opinion. And that means – we can reduce their severity.
Bobby Lee did not agree with this. He watches the base and claims:
– The main problem is in the monetary system that we use today. Everyone uses money. Today, money is not paper or coins, it is digital money in bank computers. The monetary system is no longer supported by assets. There is no cooperation between countries, if necessary, any country can print for itself as much money as it needs, because of the ability to control the money supply, central banks have tremendous power over people. The state can pick up at any time everything that you have earned in the last three months, or three years, or 30 years, using a printing press and inflation. Our earnings may be taken from us without our permission. This is the main problem! The problem is in the monetary system.
Toni Vays picked up the idea and concluded:
– Bitcoin fixes this problem! But it is Bitcoin – not Ethereum, no shitcoins. It is Bitcoin that helps solve the problem of the monetary system. As for the “black swans”, unpredictable crises – yes, you can rely on the “white swans” and anticipate the crisis. But you can really protect yourself from the loss of all money with the help of bitcoin when the “black swan” arrives.
Craig Wright suddenly drew the audience’s attention to the fact that Bitcoin is a tracing system. Money needs to be traceable, money requires traceability. And he continued:
– Key aspect of crisis that no one really talks about actually comes from the information asymmetry. In banks they have a monopoly on information, we can’t share information between organizations. information asymmetry extends to government bonds. No one actually knows the existence of most bonds.
They objected to the failed «Satoshi Nakamoto» all in chorus:
– Your money should be your property! No one should tell you have you spend your money or not.
But Craig Wright stood his ground and even made another sensational prophecy. According to him, in 2020. Bitcoin will be seized by the government!
The main question of the discussion is this: There is a world of fiat and a world of crypt. How should they interact?
Obviously, technology helps both governments and central banks. Banks can use blockchain as a mechanism to transfer money faster, more efficiently and more safely. But there is a danger that assets transferred to the blockchain, for example, will be confiscated by the government. This makes any combination of cryptocurrencies and fiat assets pointless. Thus, stablecoins also lose their meaning. In this regard, Bobby Lee emphasizes the advantage of bitcoin – it is not based on anything!
Roubini unexpectedly admitted that he is not enthusiastic about the traditional financial system. According to him, he even wrote a book where he outlined the role of the financial system in the financial crisis: excessive risks, lack of liquidity, lack of capital. Some flaws can be corrected with the fintech revolution. Fintech has nothing to do with crypto and blockchain, it is a combination of AI, big data, the Internet of things. Fintech is revolutionizing payment systems, lending, asset management, insurance, capital market activity. Roubini mockingly remarked: Bitcoin has 5 transactions per second, and Visa has 25 thousand TPS. There are systems like AliPay that billions of people use and they carry out billions of transactions. And finally, Roubini pronounced his sentence to crypto:
– Cryptocurrencies do not have a unit of account, this is not a means of payment, and they are not a stable store value. And conceptually, the world of tokenization is the world of barter, this is a return to the Stone Age. The existing financial system is scalable and secure. If I have lost a credit card, I can reissue it and get my money. If you lost your private key – that’s it, your money is lost forever! There is no scalability, no decentralization, everything is centralized in crypto – miners are centralized, exchanges are centralized, developers, wallets … And what are the reproaches towards the centralization of the fiat system? There are more than a hundred central banks, 15 thousand banks, over a hundred currencies. There are thousands of financial institutions. It is not centralized. And what is the alternative, crypto? It is not even decentralized. In addition, hundreds of cryptocurrencies have already lost 99% of their value.
However, the lengthy speech of the professor did not convince crypto supporters in any way. Everyone knows fiat currencies, which have dropped even more than at 99%. Bobby Lee called them shit fiat and accused Roubini of defending them. Everything else is just casuistry and juggling of terms.
However, Brock Pierce put the ideological point in the dispute:
– During the dotcom crisis, 99% of companies went bankrupt. But today we have Amazon and eBay. If today’s innovations bring the same return, we will all win. We do not know the answers today. And the one who believes that he knows the answers is highly likely wrong!