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Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who’s best known for his 2007 book “The Black Swan”, is doubling down on his skepticism of bitcoin. On Sunday, Taleb likened the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency to a “perfect sucker game” during periods of low-interest rates.
With no ties to any nation-state or government, bitcoin is often seen as a store of value and reliable hedge against other key areas of finance. Nassim, however, thinks otherwise. According to him, bitcoin is not a hedge against inflation, stocks, oil squeezes, and catastrophic geopolitical events.
Taleb may be right to suggest bitcoin is not a good hedge against stocks. The price of the top cryptocurrency has been moving in tandem with traditional financial markets in recent months. For instance, when the stock market fell last month following hawkish remarks by the Federal Reserve, bitcoin dropped too.
Erstwhile Bitcoin Fan Turned Foe
Taleb hasn’t always been critical of bitcoin. In 2017, he wrote a foreword to Saifedean Ammous’ book, “The Bitcoin Standard”, where he made a compelling case for the flagship cryptocurrency as a new form of sound money.
Earlier this year, however, the former risk analyst and options trader started tweeting about how bitcoin has completely “failed”, and revealed he was selling off his BTC holdings.
Last year, Taleb likened bitcoin’s rise to the 17th-century bubble in Tulip bulbs. For those not familiar with that, the Dutch went wild for unique variants of the tulip, paying sky-high prices for some varieties before the bubble burst and the market collapsed. The best-selling author was suggesting the same thing could eventually happen to bitcoin.
Previously in June 2020, Taleb had said bitcoin was a good idea but most of its advocates are “total idiots”.
Taleb has clarified that he’s not exactly bearish on bitcoin as he thinks it’s as “irrational to buy it as it is to SHORT it”.
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