Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin threw a shade at prominent economist and crypto skeptic Nouriel Roubini, nicknamed Dr. Doom for predicting the recent global financial crisis. In response to Roubini’s earlier statements, where he called decentralization in crypto as a “myth” and called Buterin a “dictator.”
It all started with Roubini’s testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, as reported by Bloomberg, where the professor delivered a stinging indictment on the industry calling operators of cryptocurrency “swindlers” and “scammers” who were taken advantage of “clueless retail investors.”
“Scammers, swindlers, criminals, charlatans, insider whales and carnival barkers (all conflicted insiders) tapped into clueless retail investors’ FOMO (“fear of missing out”), and took them for a ride selling them and dumping on them 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,” Roubini commented, while talking about the crypto phenomenon of the past two years.
He went further to make the all too familiar arguments about cryptocurrencies, and he also warned about the deflationary nature of Bitcoin, which he said has an “arbitrary supply-generation mechanism that is worse than any fiat currency.” The economist also tore into the blockchain technology, which he believes isn’t as revolutionary as it seems as it is not scalable, truly decentralized or secure. Roubini’s testimony before the Senate was also full of personal attacks on Buterin, for his failure to deliver a scalable system and for the buggy code in the Ethereum blockchain.
Buterin Fights Back
In a post shared on Twitter, Buterin countered the Economist’s argument, going straight into his credentials.
Buterin’s tweet had read:
“I officially predict a financial crisis sometime between now and 2021. Not because I have any special knowledge or even actually think that but so that I can have a ~25% (or whatever) chance of later being publicly acclaimed as “a guru who predicted the last financial crisis.”
Roubini, who fired back instantly, going over Ethereum’s platform. He took a swipe at Sharding, a technology meant to speed up transactions recorded on the blockchain, which he calls “vaporware.”
Continuing his tirade on Twitter, Roubini, who also called cryptocurrencies “shitcoins” said the community is filled with a “cesspool of lunatics.”
“99% of crypto land is one shitcoin traded for another shitcoin. And the average shitcoin lost 90% or more of its value in the last year. So Crypto Land is Crap Land, a cesspool of lunatics with severe Freudian scatological obsessions that swim 24/7 in their stinking shit.”
Roubini also got into a Twitter scrimmage with crypto enthusiasts, before doubling down on his stated opinion of crypto being a “scam” and “fake wealth.” Roubini believes crypto is not decentralized, as he believes even North Korea’ is more decentralized than crypto. Some Twitter users cautioned Roubini, as they felt his statements was understating the facts, especially as different cryptocurrencies had different degrees of decentralization.
Buterin also added his voice to the argument about the true decentralization of cryptos.
“I don’t think that’s a fair characterization; if you look more deeply at the actual processes of ethereum governance, you’ll find that while a technical elite does exist (as in all cryptocurrencies), my own involvement is much less pivotal than it seems from the outside.”
Even if the market implodes, as Roubini and some other crypto pessimist predict, the engineers will probably keep working on the technology to develop the network through research and development.