Bitcoin’s performance and cryptocurrencies increased adoption worldwide have still failed to bring some observers to the crypto camp.
But compared to other bull run years like 2017, 2020 has seen far less crypto-criticism, with some Bitcoin naysayers appearing to have softened their stance on digital assets somewhat.
Looking back on crypto in 2020, Cointelegraph has noticed some of cryptocurrency’s biggest critics.
“Bitcoin has no future”: Russian politician Anatoly Aksakov
- Date of citation: 23 October 2020
- Bitcoin Price That Day: $ 12,900
Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the Russian State Duma and a key representative of Russia’s crypto-related law efforts, was a notable cryptocurrency critic in 2020.
The official is confident that the global acceptance of payments in crypto such as Bitcoin would result in a “destruction of a financial system.” In October 2020, Aksakov predicted that decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have no future, arguing that central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, are the future of the financial system.
While it remains to be seen what will come of Aksakov’s prediction about Bitcoin, some of his previous comments show that he is not exactly a prophet. In a live stream from May 2020 to talk with Maria Butina, Aksakov said crypto mining is “a thing of the past” due to Bitcoin’s third halving cutting the reward for the miner’s block from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC.
“[Crypto mining] is no longer profitable, and as far as I understand, this company is about to disappear in the future, ”argued Aksakov. Despite this doom prediction, Bitcoin miners have made some money over the course of 2020, with income from Bitcoin miners rising to halving levels from the beginning of November.
In accordance with the constant of the Russian authorities game of ping pong in regulating crypto, Aksakov regularly changes his stance on the industry. In early December, Aksakov called cryptocurrencies a “highly profitable business”, and stressed the need to legitimize by recognizing crypto as property.
Aksakov, a member of the Russian State Duma, is also chairman of the National Banking Council of the Russian central bank. The Bank of Russia will be official in mid-October 2020 released his plans about the development of the Russian CBDC, the digital ruble.
“Nothing is priced in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency”: Nouriel Roubini
- Quote date: 7 November 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 greatest crypto critics, often referred to as “Dr. Doom” in the crypto community.
Known for its claims that “cryptocurrency as a technology has absolutely no basis for success”, the award-winning economist has remained highly critical of crypto and Bitcoin in 2020 despite giving in that BTC at the end of 2019 “may be a partial store of value”.
On November 7, 2020, Roubini argued that cryptocurrency itself is a “misnomer”, because a currency must provide a unit of account. Roubini continued to bash Bitcoin, criticizing its seemingly limited scalability:
“Nothing is priced in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. You have to be a single teller, and with that many tokens you don’t have a single counter. You must be a scalable payment method and with Bitcoin you can only make five transactions per second. “
At the same time, Roubini admitted Bitcoin’s potential function as a store of value. “It might be a partial store of value because unlike thousands of other what I call shitcoins, it can’t be so easily demeaned because there is at least an algorithm that decides how much Bitcoin’s supply over time picks up, ”noted Roubini.
Bitcoin is “the biggest bubble I’ve seen”: Peter Schiff
- Date of citation: 28 October 2020
- Bitcoin Price That Day: $ 13,200
Peter Schiff, a millionaire broker and CEO at Euro Pacific Capital, is another famous Bitcoin naysayer, criticism of Bitcoin as early as 2013. Also referred to as a ‘golden bug’ in the crypto community, Schiff is also one of the world’s strongest proponents of gold investment.
Over the course of 2020, Schiff made several negative and controversial comments about Bitcoin and predicted that gold will continue to rise Bitcoin will crash in the near future.
On October 28, 2020, while gold fell to annual lows against Bitcoin, Schiff argued:
“If you measure the size of asset bubbles based on the degree of belief buyers have in their trade, the Bitcoin bubble is the largest I’ve seen. Bitcoin hodlers are more confident that they are right and sure they can’t lose than dotcom or home buyers during those bubbles. “
On December 4, Schiff said that Bitcoin’s past performance is not a guarantee of future success, but rather “insuring its future failure.”
Despite regularly criticizing Bitcoin, Schiff has not completely stayed away from the world’s largest coin. In January 2020, Schiff claimed that he lost access to his crypto wallet, noting that having BTC “was a bad idea.”
In August 2020, the gold attorney told people on Twitter to do just that send BTC to his 18 year old son, Spencer Schiff. “Since so many of you Bitcoin guys are calling me names for my son bought Bitcoin, why not actually rub it in by giving him some as a late birthday present,” Schiff wrote.
“I can trade bananas as a commodity more easily than in Bitcoin”: Mark Cuban
- Quote date: April 24, 2020
- Bitcoin Price That Day: $ 7,500
Mark Cuban, a billionaire investor and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, is another major crypto skeptic, Calling Bitcoin a bubble in 2017. While admit that could be crypto a “reliable financial instrument,” Cuban did not stop criticizing Bitcoin in 2020 for its perceived complexity.
In an April 24 interview with Morgan Creek Digital’s Anthony Pompliano, Cuban reiterated his long-running position that Bitcoin is too complicated to use. “It has to be completely friction-free and understandable to everyone first, and then you can say it is an alternative to gold as a store of value,” he said.
Cuban stated that Bitcoin is a questionable medium of exchange due to the apparent lack of fungibility for goods and services without converting to fiat currencies:
“I can trade bananas as a commodity more easily than I can trade Bitcoin, and I can still eat that banana before it goes bad and get all my potassium for my training.”
Despite his criticisms of Bitcoin, Cuban still owns a little bit of crypto. The billionaire investor claimed about $ 130 dollars in Bitcoin from April 2020. In 2017, Cuban recommended investing up to 10% in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
“I don’t think digital currencies will succeed the way people hope”: Ray Dalio
- Quote date: 7 November 2020
- Bitcoin Price That Day: $ 15,500
In a November 7 interview with Yahoo Finance, Ray Dalio, US billionaire hedge fund manager and founder of Bridgewater Associates, claimed he didn’t see it digital currencies like Bitcoin follow the way other people do. He also expects global authorities to “ban” Bitcoin if the price gets too high.
Dalio also criticized Bitcoin for not being an effective medium of exchange and a store of value, stating:
“Theoretically, Bitcoin is good, but there are three basic things: a currency must be an effective medium of exchange, a wealth of wealth, and governments want to control it. […] I cannot take my Bitcoin today and easily buy things with it. “
Dalio then allowed that he “might be missing something” about Bitcoin:
“I cannot imagine central banks, large institutional investors, companies or multinationals using Bitcoin […] If I am wrong about these things, I would like to be corrected. “
In 2020, fewer people criticized Bitcoin and crypto
Despite a select few well-known critics bassing Bitcoin in 2020, it appears that the groundbreaking cryptocurrency has attracted less public skepticism than in previous years.
Prominent naysayers love Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Donald Trump have largely kept silent about Bitcoin and crypto this year. Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman, which predicted a “total collapse” of Bitcoin in 2018 also refrained from commenting.
According to data from a major Bitcoin-themed website 99bitcoins, 2020 was the year with the lowest Bitcoin obituary since 2013.
Only seven cases of “Bitcoin death” were reported in media controlled by 99bitcoins, compared to 41 “obituaries” in 2019 and 93 in 2018.
The biggest year for Bitcoin deaths was 2017, the last year that Bitcoin saw a major bull run before 2020.
Whether you look at Bitcoin’s scathing critics, the growing interest of major banks and financial institutions in cryptocurrency, or the rapid bull run this year, one thing seems clear: crypto is here to stay.