31 May Why did the bitcoin dinosaur cross the road?
Yale’s Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Shiller just can’t say enough bad things about bitcoin.
Drawing a comparison with dinosaurs, Shiller said bitcoin could be extinct in 100 years.
“Bitcoin won’t look anything like it is today. It will have a different name, if it exists,” Shiller said Tuesday on CNBC’s Trading Nation. “There will have been many hard forks changing it and changing it. And, it’ll be a matter of dispute whether it exists or not.”
Huh? What research did he do to arrive at that incisive prediction?
I hope CNBC didn’t pay him for that numbing insight. I like to get a little more depth and understanding from analysts and experts.
One dinosaur calling another dinosaur
The bitcoin bashers like Shiller and Nouriel Roubini take great delight in the resulting publicity and pushback from cryptocurrency bulls.
The trouble is bashing bitcoin doesn’t lead to a better understanding of the fundamentals and implications of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in business, banking and other financial markets.
There’s a whole range of new developments in blockchain and exciting new cryptocurrency applications and they take a lot more thought and research to cover, even if critically applied.
I’m not sure Shiller would give his students a passing grade for such a lack of intellectual rigor and lazy academics.
More swamp talk
He continues to add to the haze over the prehistoric cryptocurrency swamp:
“I don’t mean to be dismissive of bitcoin. It looks like a bubble but it’s getting people enthusiastic and they’re making different kinds of cryptocurrencies. There’s thousands of them now. Something good may come out of this,” Shiller added confusingly.
There are more than 1,640 cryptocurrencies covered on Coinmarketcap.com in more than 11,100 markets, with a market capitalization of more than $329.1 billion and recent 24-hour trading volume exceeding $16.2 billion.
What would be really valuable would be Shiller’s expert opinion on what could happen with digital currencies and their potential applications in the world’s economies.
Student interest is real
When asked if his students are interested in bitcoin he said students are very interested. ”I had one student who wanted to keep his laptop during the final exam so that he could make a trade on bitcoin,” he added. “That’s a real first for me. That shows real enthusiasm. I told him okay if it’s so important to you, you can trade during the final exam.”
Thanks for the pleasant banter Dr. Shiller but how about more thoughtful insight into where blockchain technology is being tested in cross-border payments and innovative industry and retail applications?
What about cryptocurrencies being used in numerous countries to enable financial services for tens of millions of unbanked consumers?
There’s much innovation ahead and cryptocurrency and blockchain technology deserve more thoughtful scrutiny and more thorough research. I guess if we can’t expect that from lazy critics we have to work harder to provide insight and analysis through some of the outstanding industry publications and blogs.
The answer to the question “Why did the bitcoin dinosaur cross the road”? It certainly wasn’t to add to informed discussion about an important new financial marketplace and new technology destined to have significant impact on the global economy.
Author: Jeff Domansky, Managing Editor
Visual courtesy of CNBC