Nouriel Roubini is a cryptocurrency hater like no other. With an industry-wide nickname of “Dr. Doom” and a long history of bashing anything related to crypto or blockchain, this man will undoubtedly find himself on the Mount Rushmore of cryptocurrency haters when it’s all said and done. The latest in Roubini’s attacks on the crypto space came on Wednesday, when he laid into Ether and its value.
Ether a Negative-Value Asset?
Mocking the brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, Roubini wrote on Twitter, Crypto-Apocalypse: Ethereum down 90% from the peak, in free fall and now close to the 2018 low. Still a long way from zero that is its fundamental value,” adding later that the second largest cryptocurrency is actually worth negative, considering the toxic levels of energy and environmental pollution that its mining takes.
Crypto-Apocalypse: Ethereum down 90% from the peak, in free fall and now close to the 2018 low. Still a long way from zero that is its fundamental value. Actually it is worth negative given all the toxic externalities of energy waste and pollution that its mining generates
— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) November 27, 2019
To be fair, the New York University Economics professor is right. Data from CoinMarketCap shows that Ether has been in free fall, with its value at press time standing at just $154.12.
However, the fact that it will get to negative value ranges because of its mining externalities is quite difficult to fathom. Ether remains a top cryptocurrency by all standards, and its blockchain is still the most widely used for developing apps and other platforms that can easily scale and operate in the crypto space.
It will take something truly monumental for Ether to see its value plunge so low suddenly, and pretty much every cryptocurrency analyst will tell you that.
No Surprises Here
As for Roubini, his bearish views aren’t surprising. This is a man who once submitted a 38-page paper to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in which he pretty much blasted crypto and blockchain for being “useless” and “scams.”
However, his decision to attack Ether could raise some eyebrows. On October 17, Roubini attended the CC Forum 2019 conference in London, where he engaged in a panel discussion with notable crypto industry names such as Brock Pierce, Bobby Lee, and Tone Vays. To the utter shock of everyone, he conceded that perhaps Bitcoin could act as a “partial store of value,”
“Maybe Bitcoin is a partial store of value but it’s not a unit of account, it’s not a means of payment, it’s not scalable […] in spite of its rally earlier this year, it’s lost 60% in value since its peak, so I don’t see it going anywhere frankly.”
As Tone Vays suggested in a tweet following the event, Roubini’s concession represented baby steps towards a change in his stance to cryptocurrencies.
Here is the infamous panel w/ @Nouriel @brockpierce @bobbyclee & the now self admitted "FakeToshi" Craig S. Wright.
– I must say Bobby was Brilliant vs Roubini
– Nouriel 'admmited' #Bitcoin $BTC has some store of value ????.. Baby Steps ????https://t.co/vDvAP7JGYM
— Tone Vays [Vegas – Unconfiscatable.com] (@ToneVays) October 17, 2019
Perhaps the man is seeing more of a value for Bitcoin, and is moving to Ether as a way to keep his criticism of the cryptocurrency space.