The Skeptics

A Tribute to Bold Assertions

"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"

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Price data by CoinMetrics.io

Last updated: July 27, 2021


Niels van der Linden - April 22, 2011 ($0.77)

Amateur economist, VforVoluntary.com


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,750
BTC Balance
112.48045251
Current Value
$4,400,970.96
Percent Change
+117,259.23%

Don't Buy Bitcoins (YouTube)

Archive Link


Avery Pennarun - May 08, 2011 ($3.84)

Software engineer


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,734
BTC Balance
105.71583041
Current Value
$4,136,294.70
Percent Change
+110,673.83%

Why bitcoin will fail (apenwarr)

See, a bitcoin rant is almost too over-the-top for me. Asking why I think bitcoin won't work is like asking why the sky isn't red. I mean, wait, you think it is red? You actually took that seriously? Oh boy. Where do I even start?

Archive Link


Peter Schiff - June 20, 2011 ($17.50)

CEO, Euro Pacific Capital, Inc.


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,691
BTC Balance
101.02089241
Current Value
$3,952,598.02
Percent Change
+106,987.46%

Peter Schiff Radio Show with Bitcoin (YouTube)

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.


Tim Worstall - June 20, 2011 ($17.26)

Journalist


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,691
BTC Balance
101.02089241
Current Value
$3,952,598.02
Percent Change
+106,987.46%

So, That's the End of Bitcoin Then (Forbes)

It’s difficult to see what the currency has going for it.

Archive Link


Adrian Covert - August 09, 2011 ($8.02)

Journalist


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,641
BTC Balance
97.31131644
Current Value
$3,807,455.14
Percent Change
+104,471.69%

The Bitcoin Is Dying (Gizmodo Australia)

The lulz were abundant. But frankly, it’s time for you to go. Farewell.

Archive Link


Paul Krugman - September 07, 2011 ($7.16)

Nobel Prize-winning Economist


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,612
BTC Balance
94.24799330
Current Value
$3,687,597.91
Percent Change
+101,992.97%

Golden Cyberfetters (The New York Times)

So to the extent that the [Bitcoin] experiment tells us anything about monetary regimes, it reinforces the case against anything like a new gold standard – because it shows just how vulnerable such a standard would be to money-hoarding, deflation, and depression.

Archive Link


Michael Calore - December 24, 2012 ($13.27)

Journalist


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,138
BTC Balance
9.49402593
Current Value
$371,468.39
Percent Change
+11,737.74%

Wired, Tired, Expired for 2012: From Stellar to Suck (Wired)

Then came the malware, the black market, the legal ambiguities and The Man. Today, you can't even use it to buy Facebook stock

Archive Link


Patrik Korda - March 05, 2013 ($34.00)

Amateur trader


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,067
BTC Balance
5.66463695
Current Value
$221,637.65
Percent Change
+7,126.53%

Bitcoin Bubble 2.0 (Seeking Alpha)

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.

Archive Link


Heidi Moore - April 03, 2013 ($115.09)

Finance and Economics Editor, The Guardian US


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,038
BTC Balance
5.16832286
Current Value
$202,218.59
Percent Change
+6,556.31%

Confused about Bitcoin? It's 'the Harlem Shake of currency' (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.

Archive Link


Kurt Eichenwald - April 09, 2013 ($239.98)

Contributing editor, Vanity Fair


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,032
BTC Balance
5.12768614
Current Value
$200,628.62
Percent Change
+6,517.04%

The Logic Problems That Will Eventually Pop the Bitcoin Bubble (Vanity Fair)

So, anyone out there buying Bitcoins at ridiculously inflated prices, please recognize the risk you are taking. You will likely lose everything.

Archive Link


Justin Wolfers - April 11, 2013 ($84.46)

Economist, Brookings Institution


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,030
BTC Balance
5.11714744
Current Value
$200,216.28
Percent Change
+6,507.80%


Robert McMillan - May 10, 2013 ($115.48)

Journalist


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$3,001
BTC Balance
4.85628101
Current Value
$190,009.47
Percent Change
+6,231.54%

Watch Wired Get Rich Quick With Our Sleek Bitcoin Miner (Wired)

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.

Archive Link


Ian Bremmer - May 14, 2013 ($115.01)

Founder and President, Eurasia Group


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,997
BTC Balance
4.82190429
Current Value
$188,664.43
Percent Change
+6,195.11%

Strategist predicts end of Bitcoin (CNN Money)

"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.

Archive Link


David S. Evans - October 16, 2013 ($137.54)

Chairman of the Global Economics Group


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,842
BTC Balance
3.35679378
Current Value
$131,339.73
Percent Change
+4,521.38%

Bitcoin is a Remarkable Innovation, Here's Why It Will Fail (Pymnts.com)

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.

Archive Link


Emin Gün Sirer - November 03, 2013 ($214.13)

Professor, Cornell University


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,824
BTC Balance
3.25732696
Current Value
$127,447.93
Percent Change
+4,413.03%


Joseph Weisenthal - November 06, 2013 ($264.61)

Executive Editor, Business Insider


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,821
BTC Balance
3.24409610
Current Value
$126,930.26
Percent Change
+4,399.48%

Bitcoin Is A Joke (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.

Archive Link


Kevin Rose - November 08, 2013 ($330.01)

Co-founder, Digg


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,819
BTC Balance
3.23685005
Current Value
$126,646.74
Percent Change
+4,392.61%


Matthew O'Brien - November 21, 2013 ($589.24)

Journalist


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,806
BTC Balance
3.20527569
Current Value
$125,411.35
Percent Change
+4,369.40%

Bitcoin Is the Segway of Currency (The Atlantic)

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.

Archive Link


Gary North - November 29, 2013 ($1,065.36)

Economist


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,798
BTC Balance
3.19585739
Current Value
$125,042.84
Percent Change
+4,369.01%

Bitcoins: The Second Biggest Ponzi Scheme in History (Gary North's Specific Answers)

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.

Archive Link


Matthew Yglesias - December 02, 2013 ($1,000.49)

Executive Editor, Vox


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,795
BTC Balance
3.19304119
Current Value
$124,932.65
Percent Change
+4,369.86%

Why I Haven't Changed My Mind About Bitcoin (Slate)

My primary interest in Bitcoin is that I think it's a great platform for making jokes.

Archive Link


Mark T. Williams - December 05, 2013 ($1,083.40)

Finance Professor, Boston University


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,792
BTC Balance
3.19025018
Current Value
$124,823.45
Percent Change
+4,370.75%

Beware of Bitcoin (Cognoscenti from WBUR Boston NPR)

Once sellers outnumber buyers, prices will eventually drop below $10, erasing all gains. This price collapse will occur by the first half of 2014.

Archive Link


Alex Payne - December 18, 2013 ($527.76)

Developer and Angel Investor


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,779
BTC Balance
3.17453293
Current Value
$124,208.49
Percent Change
+4,369.54%

Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology (al3x.net)

Bitcoin represents more of the same short-sighted hypercapitalism that got us into this mess, minus the accountability.

Archive Link


Charlie Stross - December 18, 2013 ($527.76)

Author


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,779
BTC Balance
3.17453293
Current Value
$124,208.49
Percent Change
+4,369.54%

Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire (Charlie's Diary)

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.

Archive Link


Edward Hadas - December 18, 2013 ($527.76)

Economics Editor, Reuters


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,779
BTC Balance
3.17453293
Current Value
$124,208.49
Percent Change
+4,369.54%

Bitcoin Mania Heads Into the Endgame (NY Times Dealbook)

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.

Archive Link


Brad DeLong - December 28, 2013 ($717.51)

Professor of Economics, U.C. Berkeley


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,769
BTC Balance
3.15895809
Current Value
$123,599.10
Percent Change
+4,363.67%

Watching Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Etc... (The Equitablog)

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.

Archive Link


Lisa Kramer - January 15, 2014 ($830.47)

"Serious Economist"


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,751
BTC Balance
3.13661881
Current Value
$122,725.04
Percent Change
+4,361.11%

Bursting the bitcoin bubble (The Globe and Mail)

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.

Archive Link


Jamie Dimon - January 23, 2014 ($811.40)

President & CEO, JPMorgan Chase


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,743
BTC Balance
3.12687391
Current Value
$122,343.76
Percent Change
+4,360.22%

Dimon Disses Bitcoin, and Bitcoiners Diss Back (WSJ MoneyBeat)

"It’s a terrible store of value," Mr. Dimon said in an interview with CNBC. "It could be replicated over and over."

Archive Link


Paul Singer - January 29, 2014 ($794.65)

CEO, Elliott Management Corporation


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,737
BTC Balance
3.11927752
Current Value
$122,046.54
Percent Change
+4,359.14%

Paul Singer: Bitcoin over gold? Are you crazy?! (CNBC)

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.

Archive Link


Robert J. Shiller - March 01, 2014 ($560.18)

Nobel Prize-winning Economist


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,706
BTC Balance
3.07241158
Current Value
$120,212.84
Percent Change
+4,342.46%

In Search of a Stable Electronic Currency (The New York Times)

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.

Archive Link


Mark Cuban - March 09, 2014 ($640.58)

TV Actor, Shark Tank


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,698
BTC Balance
3.05971719
Current Value
$119,716.15
Percent Change
+4,337.22%

Mark Cuban says Cyber Dust app keeps you in control (USA Today)

I think as an encryption technology, [Bitcoin’s] great. I think as a transport mechanism, accounting of a transport mechanism, that it's unique and has a great opportunity in the future. I think it has no shot as a long term digital currency. [Would you buy any?] Yeah, I mean I'd look at it, but more as fun, you know? It's almost like buying and selling baseball cards, but there's definitely risk involved if you're looking at it to be a long term currency.

Archive Link


Nouriel Roubini - March 09, 2014 ($637.38)

Professor of Economics, New York University


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,698
BTC Balance
3.05971719
Current Value
$119,716.15
Percent Change
+4,337.22%


Warren Buffett - March 14, 2014 ($634.10)

Chairman & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,693
BTC Balance
3.05185633
Current Value
$119,408.58
Percent Change
+4,334.04%

Buffett: ‘Stay Away’ From Bitcoin (WSJ MoneyBeat)

"Stay away from it," he said, according to a transcript. "It’s a mirage basically."

Archive Link


Anthony Watson & Halsey Minor - October 14, 2015 ($254.74)

CEO and Founder & Chairman, Uphold (formerly Bitreserve), respectively


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,114
BTC Balance
1.24234133
Current Value
$48,608.52
Percent Change
+2,199.36%

This bitcoin startup is changing its name and moving away from bitcoin (Fortune)

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.”

Archive Link


Mike Hearn - January 14, 2016 ($429.24)

Lead Platform Engineer, R3CV


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,022
BTC Balance
0.98873759
Current Value
$38,685.88
Percent Change
+1,813.25%

The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment (Medium)

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.

Archive Link


Vivek Wadhwa - January 19, 2016 ($385.51)

Contributor, The Washington Post; Tryhard


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$2,017
BTC Balance
0.97590269
Current Value
$38,183.70
Percent Change
+1,793.09%

R.I.P., Bitcoin. It’s time to move on. (The Washington Post)

Bitcoin did have great potential, but it is damaged beyond repair. A replacement is badly needed.

Archive Link


Jeremy Allaire - November 17, 2016 ($744.86)

CEO, Circle


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$1,714
BTC Balance
0.39161596
Current Value
$15,322.58
Percent Change
+793.97%

Circle CEO Allaire: It’s Highly Unlikely We’ll Be Using Bitcoin in 5 or 10 Years (Coin Journal)

“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?”

Archive Link


Timothy B. Lee - November 21, 2016 ($736.72)

Senior correspondent, technology and economics, Lead writer for "New Money", Vox Media


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$1,710
BTC Balance
0.38622153
Current Value
$15,111.51
Percent Change
+783.71%

Bitcoin was supposed to change the world. What happened? (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.

Archive Link


Dan McCrum - January 03, 2017 ($1,034.34)

Editor, Financial Times


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$1,667
BTC Balance
0.33281540
Current Value
$13,021.92
Percent Change
+681.16%

Bitcoin passes $1,000 but only number that matters is zero (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.

Archive Link


Raoul Pal - June 02, 2017 ($2,519.80)

Macro Strategist, GMI


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$1,517
BTC Balance
0.20465956
Current Value
$8,007.62
Percent Change
+427.86%

Bitcoin Is Mania, Not a Store of Value… I Sold-Out Last Week (Mauldin Economics)

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.

Archive Link


Howard Marks - July 26, 2017 ($2,522.70)

Co-chairman, Oaktree Capital


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$1,463
BTC Balance
0.18330977
Current Value
$7,172.28
Percent Change
+390.24%

Billionaire investor Marks, who called the dotcom bubble, says bitcoin is a 'pyramid scheme' (CNBC)

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.

Archive Link


Kenneth Rogoff - October 09, 2017 ($4,808.73)

Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Harvard University; Former Chief Economist, IMF


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$1,388
BTC Balance
0.16367806
Current Value
$6,404.16
Percent Change
+361.39%

Bitcoin's price bubble will burst under government pressure (The Guardian)

My best guess is that in the long run, the technology will thrive, but that the price of bitcoin will collapse.

Archive Link


Al-Waleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud - October 23, 2017 ($6,018.02)

Citigroup shareholder


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$1,374
BTC Balance
0.16113192
Current Value
$6,304.53
Percent Change
+358.84%

Prince Alwaleed says bitcoin will implode: 'Enron in the making' (CNBC)

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.

Archive Link


Bill Harris - April 24, 2018 ($9,333.95)

Founder & CEO, Personal Capital; Former CEO of PayPal and Intuit


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$1,191
BTC Balance
0.14154216
Current Value
$5,538.06
Percent Change
+364.99%

Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history (Recode)

In my opinion, [Bitcoin’s] a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen.

Archive Link


Robert C. Merton - November 28, 2018 ($3,771.01)

Nobel Prize-winning Economist; Failed and bailed out co-founder, Long-Term Capital Management


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$973
BTC Balance
0.10903001
Current Value
$4,265.97
Percent Change
+338.43%

Why a Nobel laureate in economics thinks bitcoin is toast (PBS NewsHour)

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?

Archive Link


Steven Mnuchin - July 24, 2019 ($9,725.66)

United States Secretary of the Treasury


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$735
BTC Balance
0.06014012
Current Value
$2,353.07
Percent Change
+220.15%

I won't be talking about Bitcoin in 10 years, I can assure you that. […] I would bet in even 5 or 6 years I'm no longer talking about Bitcoin as Treasury Secretary. […] I can assure you I will personally not be loaded up on Bitcoin.

Archive Link


Tendayi Kapfidze - January 01, 2020 ($7,170.63)

Chief Economist, LendingTree


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$574
BTC Balance
0.04167462
Current Value
$1,630.58
Percent Change
+184.07%

Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme, economist says (Yahoo Finance)

“It’s a pyramid scheme,” LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze tells Yahoo Finance. “You only make money based on people who enter after you. It has no real utility in the world.

“They’ve been trying to create a utility for it for ten years now. It’s a solution in search of a problem and it still hasn’t found a problem to solve.”

Archive Link


Nassim Nicholas Taleb - February 12, 2021 ($47,525.21)

Flaneur, or something like that


Daily Buy
$1
Total Invested
$166
BTC Balance
0.00377797
Current Value
$147.82
Percent Change
-10.95%

Archive Link