Bitcoin (BTC) naysayer Nouriel Roubini believes that incoming U.S. president Joe Biden will go much further than Donald Trump in controlling cryptocurrency.
In a fiery Twitter debate on Dec. 24, Roubini, who is known for both his dislike of crypto and his ability to call market bottoms by mistake, called the sector a "cesspool."
Roubini to pro-Bitcoin lawyer: "You are delusional"
Roubini was responding to Jake Chervinsky, a lawyer studying the fallout from the recent news that U.S. lawmakers were demanding that stablecoin payments implement on-chain Anti-Money Laundering and Know-Your-Customer (AML/KYC) identification processes.
Chervinsky argued that the idea currently had "exactly zero chance" of becoming an enforceable law. Rather, it represented the "personal views" of Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary under Trump soon to be replaced by Biden's pick, Janet Yellen.
"You are delusional," a visibly irate Roubini retorted.
"Biden's team, starting with Yellen who was my boss at CEA, will crack down on this criminal tax evading & AML-KYC-TFC-evading crypto/shitcoins cesspool much more than Mnuchin. Get a life as you have become a crypto hired gun cheerleader/enabler."
Bitcoin and altcoins refuse to die this year
Cryptocurrency skeptics have been buoyed this week by news that U.S. regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had decided to file a lawsuit against blockchain payments network Ripple. The largest investor in the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, XRP, Ripple saw a 60% drop in the value of the token once the news became public.
At the same time, commentators noted that Bitcoin had barely reacted to the legal challenge. In the long term, however, surveys have shown that many remain concerned about the potential for government bans to impact Bitcoin's success.
Proponents argue that this is impossible. The most effective way of reducing demand for a fully-decentralized asset, they claim, is for governments to reintroduce free markets on a sound monetary standard such as gold — an unlikely eventuality.
"Bitcoin can't be easily banned," Saifedean Ammous, author of "The Bitcoin Standard," summarized last year.
"If people want to use it, they'll find a way. If you want to stop it, you want to undermine the incentive to use it. Nothing would do that like a free market in banking based on a gold standard."
Meanwhile, the outlook for Roubini if he continues his current lambasting of Bitcoin and altcoins looks bleak. As data shows, his outbursts have almost exactly matched local price lows for BTC/USD, making the economist an accidental bellwether for those looking to enter the market to profit.
Fellow detractor Peter Schiff has a similar track record when it comes to Bitcoin itself.