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'Dr. Doom' economist Nouriel Roubini says 'the Flintstones had a better monetary system than bitcoin' and the token should not be considered a currency

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Markets Insider
Markets Insider
 2021-02-17
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Nouriel Roubini.
  • Economist Nouriel Roubini — popularly known as Dr. Doom — believes the Flintstones had a better monetary system than bitcoin.
  • The NYU professor sat down with Bloomberg for an interview on Wednesday and blasted cryptocurrencies.
  • Roubini argued cryptocurrencies are a "bubble" based on "manipulation."
  • The professor said the term "currency" is a misnomer for the tokens, which aren't even real assets in his view.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell .

Economist Nouriel Roubini, known as "Dr. Doom" for his pessimistic market views, said "the Flinstones had a better monetary system than bitcoin" in an interview with Bloomberg Wednesday morning .

The NYU professor argued bitcoin and other digital tokens shouldn't even be considered currencies because they lack many of the basic traits currencies must possess.

"Fundamentally, bitcoin is not a currency. It's not a unit of account, it's not a scalable means of payment, and it's not a stable store of value," Roubini said.

"Calling them cryptocurrencies is a misnomer, they're not even assets," Roubini added.

Roubini's bearish take on cryptocurrencies comes amid a historic run for bitcoin. The currency passed all-time highs of over $51,000 per coin on Wednesday.

When asked why bitcoin's price continues to surge, Roubini responded by saying "its surging because there is a massive amount of manipulation, pump and dump schemes, spoofing, wash trading, and front running."

"I think it's a bubble," the economist added.

Roubini also noted transaction costs and limits on the speed of transactions per minute could be an issue for the scalability of bitcoin.

"The transaction costs are huge, but the technology, proof of work, doesn't allow more than five transactions per second, the visa network allows you 24,000 transactions per second," Roubini said.

Roubini isn't the only bear to question bitcoin's recent rise either, JPMorgan analysts highlighted the digital asset's volatility and argued the price may fall from here in a note to clients on Tuesday.

"In our opinion, unless bitcoin volatility subsides quickly from here, its current price… looks unsustainable," the analysts said.

Perhaps even more importantly, JPMorgan noted the swift growth in bitcoin over the last 5 months "has taken place with relatively little institutional flows."

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said he sees less than 5% of public companies heading down the bitcoin investment path over the next 12 to 18 months, but argued bitcoin's price "could move markedly higher as more regulation and acceptance of this currency takes hold further down the road."

Bitcoin traded at $51,131 as of 10:49 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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