How have bitcoin’s detractors been so quiet in 2020?
Bitcoin (BTC) has had a very interesting year: its price has recovered from a remarkable crash to reach new All-Time Highs. However, despite Bitcoin’s strong performance and increasing crypto adoption worldwide, some observers remain highly skeptical of the sector.
Yet, compared to other years characterized by strong bull runs such as 2017, 2020 has seen far less criticism of the crypto universe: several BTC opponents have somewhat softened their views towards digital assets.
Leaving 2020 behind, let’s take a look at some of the most talked about stances on BTC and crypto over the past year.
Anatoly Aksakov, Russian politician: “Bitcoin has no future”
Date of statement: October 23, 2020
Bitcoin price that day: $12,900
Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the Russian State Duma as well as one of the parliamentarians most committed to the regulation of the crypto sector, has been highly critical of BTC in 2020.
Aksakov believes that the global adoption of cryptocurrency payments such as Bitcoin would lead to the “destruction of the financial system.” In October 2020, Aksakov predicted that decentralized cryptos like BTC have no future, instead expressing appreciation for CBDCs.
Some of Aksakov’s previous statements, moreover, have not aged particularly well: during a May 2020 live interview with Maria Butina, Aksakov claimed that crypto mining “is about to become a memory” due to the third halving of Bitcoin’s block rewards, which fell from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC.
The MP claimed that “mining is no longer profitable and, from what I understand, this business is set to disappear in the future.” Despite this prediction, Bitcoin miners made very good money during 2020: by November, their revenues had already reached pre-halving levels.
Aligning himself with the Russian authorities’ continued haziness in regulating crypto, Aksakov frequently changes his views on the industry. In early December, he had called cryptocurrencies a “highly profitable business,” stressing the need to legitimize them and recognize them as property.
Aksakov is also chairman of the National Banking Council at the Russian central bank. In mid-October 2020, the Bank of Russia officially published its plans to develop a CBDC, the digital ruble.
Nouriel Roubini: “There is nothing whose price is expressed in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.”
Date of statement: November 7, 2020
Bitcoin price that day: $14,900
Nouriel Roubini, a professor of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, is one of the world’s biggest critics of cryptocurrencies.
Roubini is known for his caustic statements that “cryptocurrencies as a technology have absolutely no reason to succeed”: even in 2020, the renowned economist remained staunchly critical of crypto and BTC, despite admitting in late 2019 that Bitcoin “perhaps is a partial store of value.”
On November 7, 2020, Roubini stated that the very definition of “cryptocurrency” is a “misnomer,” as a currency must provide a unit of account. Roubini continued to attack Bitcoin, criticizing its apparent limited scalability:
“There is nothing whose price is expressed in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. A currency has to be a scalable means of payment, and Bitcoin can only do five transactions per second.”
At the same time, Roubini acknowledged Bitcoin’s potential function as a store of value:
“It is perhaps a partial store of value, because unlike thousands of other shitcoins, it cannot be so easily inflated, since at least there is an algorithm that decides the growth of Bitcoin’s supply over time.”
Peter Schiff: “Bitcoin is the biggest bubble I’ve ever seen”
Date of statement: October 28, 2020
Bitcoin price that day: $13,200
Peter Schiff, millionaire broker and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, is another famous Bitcoin detractor, having criticized the cryptocurrency back in 2013. Schiff is often referred to as a “gold bug” by the crypto community, as he is one of the world’s leading proponents of gold investments.
Throughout 2020, Schiff has repeatedly expressed his disdain for Bitcoin, predicting that gold will skyrocket while BTC, in the near future, will eventually collapse.