The finance world is not alone in criticizing cryptocurrencies, and the latest jab has come from the security sector. Specifically, Nicholas Weaver, a noted researcher at the University of Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute, has made his feelings on cryptocurrency known at the recent Enigma security conference, which was held in Burlingame, California, January 29, 2019.
Burning It Down
It is no secret that the cryptocurrency sector has its detractors and those that believe that the entire sector is a “bubble” in and of itself. Many in the cryptocurrency community laid into Jamie Dimon, one of the most influential players in global finance, after he called Bitcoin a “fraud” in 2017.
Given the fact that Bitcoin went on a massive run shortly after, there were many cryptocurrency proponents who felt vindicated by the price action.
While there are many individuals that believe that Bitcoin might be overvalued, or that there are issues regarding regulation, Weaver spares any sort of nuance. In fact, he has titled presentations of his opinions dramatically, such as “Cryptocurrency: Burn It With Fire”.
Here, he boasts about his own research and experience, stating that his observations come after “five years of observing and researching the cryptocurrency space”. He has published various papers about the issues surrounding bitcoin since 2013. It is interesting to note that he didn’t feel the need to speak about how one could have made a massive return on their investment had they invested in bitcoin at the time.
He admits that he was “hoping that this area would die around 2014/15”. He refers to 2017 as a “resurgent hype cycle” and he truly believes that the entire sector should be abandoned. One of his main points is that cryptocurrencies don’t actually “work as currencies”, and states that blockchain has basically simply become a “buzzword” in order to raise money.
Weaver seems to have a personal crusade on the sector, suggesting that everyone should be educated about cryptocurrency, and make sure that it “burns” for various reasons. First, he states that there are “ways for bad guys to steal money in bulk and make lots of money”.
Of course, there is no doubt that criminals can make money with fiat currency, and through methods that don’t involve cryptocurrency, but he doesn’t seem to address this obvious fact.
Interestingly enough, he appears to suggest that there are already regulations in place that could destroy the entire sector, but they are simply not being used or exercised at the moment. When one considers that there are Chinese investors that are already circumventing the China cryptocurrency ban – this idea doesn’t seem to hold up, either.
Ultimately, Weaver comes across as more an emotional individual than an informative one, and even his presentation on Youtube features a significant amount/percentage of dislikes when compared to other presentations.