Famed economist Nouriel Roubini has issued a dire warning about cryptocurrency, during a testimony at a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill.
Mr Roubini, one of the economists who predicted the 2008 financial crisis, said: “Crypto is the mother or father of all scams and bubbles.”
The New York University Professor continued by outlining the “scammy crappy assets at the peak that then went into a bust and crash — in a matter of months — like you have not seen in any history of financial bubbles.”
Bitcoin has fallen around 65 percent from its December 16, 2017 high of 14,706.13 ($19,343.04), to its current cost of £6,480.74 ($8,523.76) per token at 9:50pm, according to CoinDesk, on Monday, October 15, in what Roubini describes as a “crypto-apocalypse.”
Few other economists have spoken out quite as aggressively about Bitcoin’s underlying technology – blockchain.
Mr Roubini – an expert on international financial markets, asset and credit bubbles – has previously this distributed-ledger software underpinning all cryptocurrencies as “the most overhyped – and least useful – technology in human history.”
He said: “Now that the crypto bloodbath is in full view the new refuge of the crypto scoundrels is blockchain, the technology underlying crypto that is now alleged to be the cure of all global problems, including poverty, famines and even diseases.
“But as discussed in detail below blockchain is the most over-hyped — and least useful — technology in human history.
“In practice it is nothing better than a glorified spreadsheet or database.”
Other experts have, however, taken a very different view
While he acknowledge it’s not widely accepted as a payment method, Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Washington-based lobbying group Coin Center, believes certain aspects of the cryptocurrency show promise.
Mr Van Valkenburgh said: “Is it perfect? No. Neither was email when it was invented in 1972.
“The mere fact that it works without trusted intermediaries is amazing — it’s a computer science breakthrough.
“It will be as significant for freedom, prosperity and human flourishing as the birth of the internet.”
And the merits of cryptocurrency continue to be debated in smaller Congressional roundtables this autumn.
House of Representatives members recently met with industry representatives to address regulatory concerns and fears of innovation fleeing the US.
Following that meeting, more than a dozen members of Congress sent a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, calling for a clearer picture of how the agency views the digital asset class.