A Verbal brawl Breaks Out At A Cryptocurrencies Panel Over Bitcoin’s Future


Instead of a friendly discussion and exchange of ideas, a cryptocurrencies panel at the 2018 Milken Institute Global Conference turned into a verbal brawl—complete with a barrage of snide comments.

“All this talk of decentralization is just bullsh*t,” Nouriel Roubini, an economist known as “Dr. Doom” said.

Not to be outdone, Alex Mashinsky, a blockchain entrepreneur and early developer of the Voice over Internet Protocol standard, shot back with “Everything you just said is irrelevant”.

Bill Barhydt, who worked for the cryptography department in the CIA, told Roubini “I don’t even know where to begin”.

Tensions flared and the discussion heated up that moderators had to call for a time out to cool things off. Brent McIntosh, general counsel for the U.S. Treasury, said “I may need to step in and regulate this panel”.

The panel discussion originally started off good and sober but eventually meandered into shouting and interferences. Some believe cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum will change the world. Others think otherwise and believe cryptocurrencies are bound for failure.

Circumvent Banks

New York University’s Nouriel Roubini remains skeptical about digital coins saying they are not currencies because they aren’t a store of value. He argued even further that they are useless for payments because their blockchain technology is unable to manage the same volume of transactions like Visa Inc.

Mashinsky, on the other hand, says crypto assets will allow people to circumvent bank laws, to which Roubini replied with, “You’re just making stuff up.”

Mashinsky’s Celcius Network allows users to lend and borrow cryptocurrencies. He doubted whether Roubini knows anything at all. “Why don’t you buy one coin, then you can tell us how it works,” Mashinksy challenged him.


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