Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of a series of best-selling financial books such as The Black Swan and Skin in the Game, and a one-time bitcoin fan, has recently explained why he no longer believes in bitcoin.
Bitcoin Has Completely Failed: Taleb
After ditching his previous pro-bitcoin stance, Taleb now believes the world’s largest cryptocurrency is worth nothing since its credentials as a “currency without government”, a safe haven, and a reliable inflation hedge have totally failed.
In his recently published article, the distinguished professor of risk engineering at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering said only a few assets in financial history have been more fragile than bitcoin, according to a CNBC report.
In late June, Taleb put out a piece entitled “Bitcoin, Currencies, and Fragility” where he asserted that bitcoin’s real value is “exactly zero” mainly because the crypto asset requires a massive amount of interest to maintain its worth. Gold and other precious metals, on the contrary, do not require that. Taleb also questioned bitcoin’s worth given its high volatility throughout its lifetime.
He started tweeting about how bitcoin had “failed” earlier this year and revealed that he was dumping his BTC stash.
Taleb Was Once A Bitcoin Fan
Taleb hasn’t always been so down on bitcoin. He has previously spoken on the flagship cryptocurrency’s ability to assist people to circumvent capital controls imposed by dictatorial governments. In 2019, Taleb’s native country, Lebanon, saw several banks shut down as mass protests against government corruption rocked the streets. At the time, he tweeted that this was “the most potent case for cryptocurrencies: banks are never there when you need them”.
In 2017, he explicitly described bitcoin as the “first organic currency” in the foreword to the Bitcoin Standard — economist Saifedean Ammous’ book that made a compelling case for the flagship cryptocurrency as a new form of sound money (digital gold).
Later the next year, Taleb wrote about how bitcoin’s mere existence was an “insurance policy that will remind governments that the last object establishment could control, namely, the currency, is no longer their monopoly”.
But now, it’s an apparent 180 for Taleb.