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You could say that former PayPal CEO Bill Harris does not like Bitcoin, but that would be a euphemism.
In an editorial published by Recode, Harris claims that Bitcoin is not just a bad investment, but also a "colossal pumping and dump system, as the world has never seen it."
Harris does not break any new ground on the Bitcoin-bashing front, and he quickly retreats into the outdated arguments of the opinion pieces created in 2013 – and it's better to leave him there.
Let's go through a quick checklist:
- The mining of Bitcoin is "an absurd waste of natural resources." Check.
- Virtually no one accepts Bitcoin payments. Check.
- Bitcoin is not a store of value. Check.
- Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. Check.
- Bitcoin transactions are too slow and expensive. Check and verify.
Here's the kicker, all the more comical as the Nasdaq – the world's second largest stock exchange – said he was ready to launch a cryptocurrency swap once the market got to maturity.
"Cryptocurrency is best suited for use: criminal activity," he says at one point. "Most of the big bitcoin users are criminals, such as Silk Road and WannaCry ransomware."
This is a curious assertion, not only because institutions are becoming more sensitive to this nascent technology, but also because Silk Road – an infamous web market that was among the first major platforms to use Bitcoin payments on a large scale – has been closed for years.
Meanwhile, WannaCry – despite considerable media attention that he has collected – reported to the pirates $ 116,000 of BTC, according to research that will be presented in June at the 17th Annual Workshop on the # 39, Economics of Information Security
Indeed, even the office of the Chief Scientist of the Government of Quebec has recognized that the criminal activity involving Bitcoin is quite tiny.
"Bitcoin is not above the law and is not a magnet for illicit transactions: it is only a tiny part of the criminal money circulating around the planet, "the agency said in an official website newsletter.
Harris' assertion is patently false, and it is because of the discredit of the publication that they published it without the clarification of a publisher.
In particular, his point of view contrasts sharply with those of the co-founder and successor of PayPal's CEO, Peter Thiel, who is extremely optimistic about the flagship cryptocurrency. Thiel, like many investors, sees Bitcoin as a viable digital replacement for gold.
Meanwhile, PayPal itself has patented a Bitcoin wallet intended to reduce both the time and cost of executing transactions, although it is unclear if the company will develop this idea into a functional product.
The editorial continues to make several other tired claims, and Harris repeatedly confuses Bitcoin with initial coin offerings (ICOs).
"In what rational universe can any one simply issue electronic certificates – or simply announce that he intends to create billions of dollars in value?", He writes with reference to ICO's $ 1.7 billion Telegram. "It does not make sense."
This may or may not be a valid criticism of ICOs – indeed, many in the cryptocurrency community have raised similar arguments – but that does not have much to do with Bitcoin. Nevertheless, it repeatedly harasses ICO fraud and other related criticisms as if they are reflected on Bitcoin itself.
"All this would be a comical show if the innocent were not in danger, but ordinary people invest some of their savings in cryptocurrency." A stockbroker encourages his customers to buy bitcoins for their retirement accounts! ", he says, referring to Robinhood – who does not offer retirement accounts.
I wonder if anyone told him that two regulated exchanges have entered Bitcoin futures – or that many Wall Street companies are actively working on listing the first Bitcoin ETF.
Now that I think about it, maybe a better title for this article would have been "Old Man Yells at Bitcoin."
Featured image from Youtube / TWiT Netcast Network.
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