The SALT 2019 Conference in Las Vegas was the stage at which Professor Nouriel Roubini, an economist known as Dr. Doom for predicting the 2008 financial crisis, took on crypto’s darling Mike Novogratz in a debate which ended with the two making a T-shirt bet, reported by CNBC on May 8.

Roubini Maintains His Criticism for the Crypto Market

It will take something extraordinary for Roubini to change his view on the crypto market. The economist has reiterated at every opportunity he gets that Bitcoin has no utility at all and is the biggest bubble the world has ever seen.

Recycling the words he has used before, Roubini called crypto:

“The mother and father of all bubbles.”

He went on to say using the term cryptocurrency is a misnomer because as he reckons, cryptocurrencies do not fall in the category of currencies.

Explaining what qualifies anything to be a currency, he said:

“To be a currency, you have to be a unit of account, valuable and a scalable means of payment.”

He went on to highlight that Bitcoin is only capable of 7 transactions per second (TPS) while credit cards can scale to thousands of transactions per second. Roubini mentioned that the popular digital asset cannot be a stable store of value because of its volatility.

He claimed that crypto assets are prone to fraud cases such as spoofing, price manipulation, and pump and dump schemes.

“I’ve never seen such a level of manipulation. The reality is, these are not currencies,” he said.

Novogratz Disagrees With Roubini

As expected, Novogratz, the former Goldman Sachs who founded the crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, jumped in defense of Bitcoin and disagreed with Roubini’s crypto battering.

He pointed out that the market is recovering after suffering a vicious drop in prices last year. He said that the market experienced a small miracle. The Bitcoin bull said:

“The reality is there’s a tremendous amount of stuff going on. In some ways, there’s been a small miracle. The debate is over, bitcoin won. It is now seen by people all around the world as a legitimate place to [store] their value.”

He highlighted that the cryptocurrency market is doing well as big businesses such as Fidelity and social media giant Facebook have joined the bandwagon.

“My sense is it’s going to continue to march higher,” he said as he cemented his belief that Bitcoin has a bright future.

The T-shirt Bet

The debate ended with a T-shirt bet. Bitcoin was trading around $6,000 at the time of the discussion and Novogratz said to Roubini:

“If at Christmastime it’s above $6,000, you have to wear a shirt that says, ‘I love bitcoin.’”

Novogratz said he will wear a T-shirt that says ‘Nouriel was right’ if he loses the bet. Roubini did not show any interest in taking part in the challenge and made it clear that he doesn’t care about what happens to Bitcoin in the future.

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