Nouriel Roubini is one of the most popular crypto detractors of our time. The Economist and professor at New York University have never missed an opportunity to bash cryptocurrencies. In his latest tirade, the professor who has come to be known as “Dr. Doom” is aiming at a recent development in the industry – PayPal’s crypto integration.
Giving Voice to a Fellow Skeptic
Yesterday, Roubini fired off his first response to PayPal’s crypto integration. In a tweet, he shared a link to a post written by David Gerard, a not-so-famous blockchain journalist. Gerard’s blog mostly covers some of the dark sides of the crypto and blockchain spaces, leading to believe that he’s just as much a crypto detractor as Roubini.
PayPal brings crypto gambling to US retail. Bad for customers, bad for PayPal https://t.co/1gLvxRXFnS
— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) October 26, 2020
In his latest blog post, Gerard shared that PayPal’s decision to allow its customers to buy and hold crypto, and its decision not to charge customers transaction fees for the rest of the year, are “very dumb.”
The journalist gave a pessimistic history, explaining how David Marcus, PayPal’s former president, had left the company to co-found Facebook’s controversial Libra stablecoin. He further criticized the company’s strategy, explaining that they were merely providing a means for “bored day-traders” to gamble their money on digital assets.
From there, Gerard spewed the same sentiment that all crypto detractors tend to talk about as a last resort; the fact that the Bitcoin market and price are facades. In part, he said:
“Crypto day trading was hot in the 2017 bubble — but this isn’t the bubble. The price of bitcoin in 2020 is heavily manipulated, the market is thin, and there isn’t much retail trade. The Bitcoin price in 2020 has mostly been held up by ever-increasing issuance of billions of tethers.”
Same Old, Same Old
While most of Gerard’s bashing is subjective and expected, he did weigh in on the lack of withdrawal options for Paypal customers. In its press release from last week, PayPal confirmed that users would only be able to deposit their cryptos and spend them from the app. Withdrawals will only be possible through fiat.
As Gerard explained, there won’t be much of an incentive for users to top up their PayPal accounts if they can’t withdraw their cryptos. In his words, why can’t they just top up with cash and keep spending it?
Detractors like Gerard and Roubini are not unusual in the crypto space. Their entire operation lies in throwing false statements and unfounded accusations against the industry and waiting to see what sticks. Roubini has claimed on several occasions that Bitcoin will crash and leave investors in debt.
One day, they’re attacking Bitcoin for being a tool for criminals. Another day, it attacks its market manipulation as the reason for its surge. It never ends. As Gerard’s blog post shows, he’s been drinking some of the Kool-Aid as well. Bitcoin is still here, and men like these will continue to hate.