On February 12, the well known Lebanese-American essayist and risk analyst, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, declared that the leading digital currency bitcoin is a failure, at least for now. Cryptocurrency fans have been upset by Talebâ€™s recent statements, after it seems the renowned author has done a complete 180 after supporting the crypto asset for years.
Nassim Taleb Is Not Impressed With Bitcoin These Days
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a very popular author, mathematical statistician, and scholar. Over the years, Taleb has been very critical of todayâ€™s monetary system, the current finance industry, and the most recent financial crises. The philosopher is best known for his books â€œThe Black Swanâ€ (2010) and â€œAntifragile: Things That Gain from Disorderâ€ (2012).
After Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin network, Taleb was initially very optimistic about this emerging technology and over the years he wrote positive things about the digital asset.
Two years ago in a post published on Talebâ€™s Opacity blog dubbed â€œIt May Fail but We Now Know How to Do It,â€ the novelist explained that â€œBitcoin is an excellent idea.â€ Taleb said that his essay was initially written as a foreword to the book written by Saifedean Ammous, but he also stressed that he did not subscribe to Saifedean Ammousâ€™s â€œcrankish and conspiratorial ideas.â€ When discussing bitcoin (BTC), Talebâ€™s opinion at the time was that the cryptocurrency was a powerful animal.
â€œIt fulfills the needs of the complex system, not because it is a cryptocurrency,â€ Taleb wrote. â€œBut precisely because it has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate. It is owned by the crowd, its users. And it has now a track record of several years, enough for it to be an animal in its own right.â€
In 2021, specifically on February 12, Nassim Nicholas Taleb decided to tell the public that he was selling some of his bitcoin. Moreover, Taleb criticized a number of people within the crypto community toward the latter end of his tweet.
â€œIâ€™ve been getting rid of my BTC,â€ the renowned author tweeted to his 705,000+ Twitter followers. â€œWhy? A currency is never supposed to be more volatile than what you buy [and] sell with it. You canâ€™t price goods in BTC,â€ the former options trader said.
Taleb further added:
Taleb wasnâ€™t done with his scathing critique and decided to add to his first statement. â€œThe other problem BTC Protozoa [doesnâ€™t] get: the appeal of a cryptocurrency depends on some opacity, its ability to facilitate tax fraud and money laundering,â€ Taleb tweeted. â€œYou can anonymize a gold coin by re-melting it. You can rework a spoon. BTC is more tractable than cash. BTC Volatility is not dropping with time/at [a] higher price, exactly what you donâ€™t need,â€ the famed author further stressed.
Paul Sztorc: â€˜Saner Bitcoiners Have Become Quieter Recentlyâ€™
Of course, cryptocurrency and bitcoin advocates were not too pleased with Talebâ€™s statements. The popular bitcoiner Pierre Rochard told Taleb that â€œbitcoin is crashing up,â€ while the digital asset proponent Chris Ellis said â€œ[Bitcoin is] syncing with the global economy.â€
â€œItâ€™s like watching the progress bar of an old tape backup without the time-to-completion feature,â€ Chris Ellis continued.
Others responded in a different way and discussed the subject from an alternative perspective. The software developer, Paul Sztorc, talked about how saner BTC people havenâ€™t been as loud in recent times.
â€œUnfortunately, it is true that most of the Bitcoiners that [Nassim Nicholas Taleb] spoke with were embarrassments (namely Saifedean who makes it his mission to repel all intelligent reasonable people). Saner BTCers have become quieter recently,â€ Sztorc said on Twitter.
Nassim Taleb Is Not Convinced by Rebuttals, Says â€˜Bitcoin Misfits Share the Monocellular Brainâ€™
Following Talebâ€™s initial tweet on February 12, the author tweeted some more on the 14th, and criticized Kraken FXâ€™s Dan Held. Blockchain researcher Willy Woo responded to Talebâ€™s critique and said that â€œvolatility is a red herring.â€
â€œMost likely path is BTC becoming a reserve asset that backs currency. Thinking of it as a unit of account is a hangover from the Agrarian Age when we had seashells, and lumps of silver. Weâ€™re in a Digital Age now, we have live indexes and baskets,â€ Woo added. Despite all the defense and response toward Talebâ€™s new path of thinking, the author doesnâ€™t seem to be favoring the crypto asset as he did in the past.
Even last April, when news went viral that the Bank of Lebanon applied strict local currency remittance rules, Taleb tweeted: â€œUse cryptocurrencies!â€
However, today is a different story, and on Sunday morning (EST), Taleb seemingly responded to numerous â€œreserve assetâ€ Twitter responses.
â€œBitcoin misfits share the monocellular brain [and] logical wiring defects: â€˜BTC is a good idea, therefore, IT WILL BE *THE* reserve currencyâ€™ (i.e. no other ideas [and] no other reserve). Reserve â‰„Volatile. [Plus] It is not supposed to be volatile AT HIGHER PRICES. [Plus] Never found uses,â€ Taleb insisted.
What do you think about Nassim Nicholas Talebâ€™s recent scathing critique of bitcoin and bitcoin proponents in general? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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