Aswath Damodaran, professor of finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, has reiterated his criticism of Bitcoin (BTC).
Appearing on episode 10 of the Moneycontrol Masterclass program, the NYU professor doubled down on his longstanding repudiation of Bitcoin as currency.
According to Damodaran, Bitcoin’s limited use in microtransactions flies in the face of claims that BTC is viable as a form of money, stating:
“A good currency, in my view, is one that's used to buy coffee, buy your house, buy a car, and on that count, Bitcoin has failed, and not just failed, it's failed miserably.”
For the NYU professor dubbed Wall Street’s “dean of valuation,” Bitcoin’s only claim to fame is in the returns earned by early investors. “When I run into Bitcoin enthusiasts, they seem to push this notion that Bitcoin is a great currency because they’ve made a lot of money on it,” Damodaran said.
The NYU professor has previously offered similar variants of this anti-Bitcoin commentary revolving around BTC not being a viable form of currency. During the bull market run of 2017, Damodaran argued that market capitalization growth was not a suitable metric to determine Bitcoin’s success.
Back in April, Damodaran identified volatility and high transaction costs as major impediments to Bitcoin’s viability as a medium of exchange. The NYU professor’s critique does not, however, account for growing BTC adoption in the face of financial censorship in many places across the globe.
Apart from dismissing Bitcoin as currency, Damodaran also disagreed with the notion that BTC is a hedge against inflation. According to the NYU professor, BTC behaved like a risky stock during the market upheaval of March 2020.
Damodaran did not mention that Bitcoin closed out 2020 with a seven-fold price increase against the Black Thursday crash of March 2020.
The professor’s pivot from bashing Bitcoin as a currency to repudiating it as an asset class also seems to be an emerging theme. Back in May, Damodaran stated that Ether (ETH) stood a better chance of becoming a commodity than BTC.