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Nouriel Roubini Isn’t Backing Down from This Fight

hayes and roubini
hayes and roubini

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New York University Economics professor Nouriel Roubini has continued his persistent attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges BitMEX and its founder Arthur Hayes.

The professor, who has been known as “Dr. Doom” for his particularly brash stance on crypto assets of any kind, published a rather scathing report that seemed to tie BitMEX and its CEO with involvements in “systematic illegality.”

Fresh off a debate with Hayes at the 2019 Blockchain Asia Summit in Taipei, the professor didn’t hold back, going as far as criticizing BitMEX’s business model and accusing Hayes of benefiting from terrorism. In his post, Roubini claimed that BitMEX allows its traders to trade on way too much risk, citing the exchanges 100x leverage feature on bitcoin trading. He went on to cite estimates in a viral Medium post, which allude that BitMEX earns a significant part of its revenues from liquidations.

He highlighted the post writers belief that BitMEX bets against its traders, while also opining that the exchange fins crafty ways to circumvent regulations and enable money laundering, all for the sake of logging higher profits. He wrote, “BitMEX insiders revealed to me that this exchange is also used daily for money laundering on a massive scale by terrorists and other criminals from Russia, Iran, and elsewhere; the exchange does nothing to stop this, as it profits from these transactions.”

Roubini claimed that while Hayes has already denied all of this, the CEOs claims are unsubstantial because there are “No independent audits of its accounts, and thus no way of knowing what happens behind the scenes.”

Roubini especially fixated on BitMEXs 100:1 leverage trading feature, even though the exchange isn’t the only one to offer such. According to him, most traders tend to go into this option without being aware of what they’re getting into. However, it is also worth noting that traders are responsible for making trades on their own. BitMEX doesn’t force anyone to participate in this, and just as the traders get al the rewards from a deal gone right, the exchanges shouldn’t be held accountable for those that go south.

As he has done so far since the Taipei showdown, Hayes has refrained from addressing Roubini or the issue itself. Apart from a tweet where he spoke on the professor’s fixation on him and his business, and seemed to liken him to a man seeking attention, he’s been pretty mum about the entire debacle.

Both men have independently claimed victory in their debate in Taipei, although Roubini isn’t allowing this battle to die down at all. He has gone on a series of Twitter tirades, going as far as calling Hayes a “mafioso style thug” and threatening to sure Hayes for collaborating with media organizations to circulate a “doctored edited highlights video of the debate.” He claimed that the video being circulated made him look bad, as is major talking points were edited.

So, while Hayes is yet to address the debate exhaustively, Roubini is fueling this beef on his own, and he seems to be doing a darn good job of it.

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