"We propose a global and morally mandatory heuristic that anyone involved in an action which can possibly generate harm for others, even probabilistically, should be required to be exposed to some damage, regardless of context."
N.N. Taleb & C. Sandis, "The Skin in the Game Heuristic for Protection Against Tail Events"
Submit a link via GitHub
Amateur economist, VforVoluntary.com
CEO, Euro Pacific Capital, Inc.
What [bitcoins] lack is their own fundamental intrinsic value. You can’t do anything with a bitcoin, other than trade it for something you want. So, intrinsically, the bitcoin itself has no value. It only has value as a medium of exchange so long as people are willing to accept it.
It’s difficult to see what the currency has going for it.
The lulz were abundant. But frankly, it’s time for you to go. Farewell.
Then came the malware, the black market, the legal ambiguities and The Man. Today, you can't even use it to buy Facebook stock
Thus, we have an answer before us: bitcoins are fiduciary media, or more specifically token money. From a monetary standpoint, as devised and formulated by Ludwig von Mises, they are on a par with the stuff you find at Chuck E. Cheese's.
Finance and Economics Editor, The Guardian US
Of course, in a rational world, none of that will be written, except perhaps as satire. Bitcoin's crash is less of a currency crisis than an opportune moment for internet wisecracks.
Contributing editor, Vanity Fair
So, anyone out there buying Bitcoins at ridiculously inflated prices, please recognize the risk you are taking. You will likely lose everything.
Economist, Brookings Institution
But in the end, the answer was obvious. The world’s most popular digital currency really is nothing more than an abstraction. So we’re destroying the private key used by our Bitcon wallet.
Founder and President, Eurasia Group
"I would be very surprised if Bitcoin is still around in 10 years," said Bremmer, the founder and CEO of Eurasia Group, the world's largest risk consulting firm. He thinks that bigger players will enter the field and improve upon Bitcoin's weaknesses.
Chairman of the Global Economics Group
I think there are two realistic directions the bitcoin ecosystem could go in. First, it could just implode and disappear if governments decide that virtual currencies cause too much harm and are too hard to regulate. Long-term investments in bitcoin would then go up in smoke. Second, it could continue as a virtual currency that is only used on the dark web with exchanges that are run by people willing to break the laws. The value of bitcoin would decline to whatever the illegal sector could support; regular investors wouldn’t be able to get their value from bitcoin unless they cashed it in with someone who wanted to do bad things.
Professor, Cornell University
Executive Editor, Business Insider
Bitcoin? Nada. There's nothing keeping it being a thing. If people lose faith in it, it's over. Bitcoin is fiat currency in the most literal sense of the word.
In other words, Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme libertarians use to make money off each other—because gold wasn't enough of one for them.
Bitcoins will never achieve this. It is a mania going up. It will be a mania coming down. It will not increase the division of labor, because people will recognize it as having been a Ponzi scheme, and they will not again buy it. They will not use it in exchange. Companies will not sell goods and services based on Bitcoins. Bitcoins have to have stable purchasing power if they are to serve as money, and they will never, ever achieve stable purchasing power.
Executive Editor, Vox
My primary interest in Bitcoin is that I think it's a great platform for making jokes.
Finance Professor, Boston University
Once sellers outnumber buyers, prices will eventually drop below $10, erasing all gains. This price collapse will occur by the first half of 2014.
Developer and Angel Investor
Bitcoin represents more of the same short-sighted hypercapitalism that got us into this mess, minus the accountability.
TL:DR; the current banking industry and late-period capitalism may suck, but replacing it with Bitcoin would be like swapping out a hangnail for Fournier's gangrene.
Economics Editor, Reuters
The electronic pseudocurrency has had a good run. Ideologues, speculators and scammers enjoyed the fun while it lasted. But now that the authorities are taking notice, the price has much further to fall.
Professor of Economics, U.C. Berkeley
You can either work doing something useful, or you can set up a botnet to mine BitCoins, or you can fork the code behind BitCoin and set up your own slightly-tweaked virtual cryptographic money network. Setting up a new, alternative network is really cheap. Thus unless BitCoin going can somehow successfully differentiate itself from the latecomers who are about to emerge, the money supply of BitCoin-like things is infinite because the cost of production of them is infinitesimal.
Nobel Prize-winning Economist
So far almost all of the Bitcoin discussion has been positive economics — can this actually work? And I have to say that I’m still deeply unconvinced. To be successful, money must be both a medium of exchange and a reasonably stable store of value. And it remains completely unclear why BitCoin should be a stable store of value.
As a Serious Economist, I had been happily ignoring the recent bitcoin frenzy, safe in the smug knowledge shared by all Serious Economists that the surge in bitcoin value is a bubble that will soon pop.
President & CEO, JPMorgan Chase
"It’s a terrible store of value," Mr. Dimon said in an interview with CNBC. "It could be replicated over and over."
CEO, Elliott Management Corporation
There is no more reason to believe that bitcoin will stand the test of time than that governments will protect the value of government-created money, although bitcoin is newer and we always look at babies with hope.
Nobel Prize-winning Economist
The Bitcoin phenomenon seems to fit the basic definition of a speculative bubble — that is, a special kind of fad, a mania for holding an asset in expectation of its appreciation.
Professor of Economics, New York University
Chairman & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
"Stay away from it," he said, according to a transcript. "It’s a mirage basically."
CEO and Founder & Chairman, Uphold (formerly Bitreserve), respectively
Watson sounds even more negative on bitcoin. “I’ll be surprised if bitcoin is here in five years,” he has told Fortune. “The value of bitcoin isn’t the currency, but the technology. I think once the world becomes more accustomed and attuned to the platform of bitcoin, the noise will go away, and the currency will go away too.
Minor, too, predicts that bitcoin as a currency “will get destroyed.” He likens the coin’s current market cap—about $3.7 billion—to “an accounting mistake or rounding error that Bank of America makes.”
Lead Platform Engineer, R3CV
But despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly. The fundamentals are broken and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long term trend should probably be downwards. I will no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development and have sold all my coins.
Contributor, The Washington Post; Tryhard
Bitcoin did have great potential, but it is damaged beyond repair. A replacement is badly needed.
“Our view is that we’re still in the really early stages of the technology and its development,” said Allaire. “It’s highly unlikely that any of us will be using Bitcoin in five or ten years. In the same way that — how many of us use NCSA Mosaic or Netscape Navigator?”
Senior correspondent, technology and economics, Lead writer for "New Money", Vox Media
What went wrong? The Bitcoin community has been hampered by a dysfunctional culture that has grown increasingly hostile toward experimentation. That has made it difficult for the Bitcoin network to keep up with changing market demands...Bitcoin's larger problem may be that it just doesn’t solve any problems normal people have.
Editor, Financial Times
As a phenomenon bitcoin has all the attributes of a pyramid scheme, requiring a constant influx of converts to push up the price, based on the promise of its use by future converts. So the ultimate value for bitcoin will be the same as all pyramid schemes: zero.
Macro Strategist, GMI
Bitcoin was supposed to be a store of value, you couldn’t mess with the formula… and now they are talking about a ‘hard fork’ changing it? Even if they don’t change the formula, the fact that they could? That’s enough to say it’s not a long-term store of value.
Co-chairman, Oaktree Capital
In my view, digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad (or perhaps even a pyramid scheme), based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it.
Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Harvard University; Former Chief Economist, IMF
My best guess is that in the long run, the technology will thrive, but that the price of bitcoin will collapse.
I just don't believe in this bitcoin thing. I think it's just going to implode one day. I think this is Enron in the making.
Founder & CEO, Personal Capital; Former CEO of PayPal and Intuit
In my opinion, [Bitcoin’s] a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen.
Nobel Prize-winning Economist; Failed and bailed out co-founder, Long-Term Capital Management
The problem with bitcoin at the moment, despite Ohio, is just what its champions decry: It is not a government-controlled currency. And therefore, asks Merton, who is responsible for the value of our currency if tomorrow morning all the bitcoin screens go dark?