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Nobel Laureate Economist Thinks the US Govt Has ‘Shut Down’ Bitcoin

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Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has, in a public event at the London School of Economics, stated that bitcoin has been “effectively” shut down by the U.S. government.

Joseph Stiglitz is, by any account, a renowned economist, an influential figure and scholar in world economics. The 73-year-old American is notably a recipient of the Nobel prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and is currently a professor at Columbia University, New York.

Stiglitz has received over 40 honorary degrees from the likes of Harvard and Cambridge Universities while being decorated by several governments such as South Korea, Colombia, Ecuador and more. He was also the chief economist at the World Bank for three years between 1997 and 2000. The list of accolades above still does not do him justice, his Wiki article sums up an exhaustive survey of his credentials.

The Bitcoin Question

At a recent public event at London School of Economics while promoting his latest book, Stiglitz issued a public lecture before fielding questions from the audience.

It was here that Stiglitz was asked to offer his views on bitcoin. The question is notable in itself. A member of the audience asked Stiglitz:

Hi. My question is what is your opinion of bitcoin? Not necessarily on what is its impact, the trend and how it’s shaping the international system, globalization, but what is your perception of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies?

[In the way that] everyone being able to use and own their own banks and money, use it and trade it without any government regulation, authority. It is thoroughly decentralized and it’s unregulated, freely by the markets.

[My question is] It’s not about the impact of cryptocurrencies, but your personal philosophical opinion about the creation of cryptocurrencies. Thank you.

The question was sweeping in its context and summarized the-most-unique facets and functionalities of bitcoin, compared to fiat currencies. Unregulated and decentralized, a significant innovation to be sure. Wall Street seems to agree, in the way banks are flocking toward blockchain technology – the core innovation powering bitcoin.

The Response

The stage was set for Stiglitz – the 4th most influential economist in the world according to academic citations as of August 2016 – to offer what could very well be his first publicly-expressed opinion on bitcoin.

He replied:

My own view is: bitcoins have been greatly exaggerated. A common medium of exchange or a store of value is a basic public function and needs to be regulated.

Already, it is apparent that Stiglitz is, unsurprisingly, aware of bitcoin and the underlying potential that cryptocurrency observers praise it for.

For context, Stiglitz is the current Director of Graduate Summer Programs at the Brooks World Poverty Institute, an arm of the University of Manchester dedicated exclusively to research on poverty, inequality and growth around the world. One of bitcoin’s many advantages is the way in which it can help bring respite to those who remain unbanked, around the world. Mainstream media has frequently covered the very subject of bitcoin conflated with poverty.

However, Stiglitz’s comments reveal that he does not buy into the idea or notion of a borderless, unregulated world currency, free from any authority. Instead, he offers a very different take on what bitcoin, as he sees it, is meant for:

The main use of bitcoin has been to circumvent tax authorities and regulation. I think the US government did the right of thing of shutting or trying to shut it down and I think effectively…it has done that.

Stiglitz is, of course, mistaken in his view that bitcoin has been ‘shut down’ by the U.S. government. It begs the question: what was he referring to? It’s possible that the Nobel laureate could be referring to Silk Road, the darknet drug market that is prominently associated with bitcoin.

A Renegade Against the Institution

It is somewhat unfortunate that Stiglitz’s grasp of bitcoin is currently limited. This is a man who, as a Nobel prize winner and former chief economist at the World Bank, lambasted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) publicly in the past for its part in crises faced by economies around the world. His unrelenting criticism of the IMF, some say, even resulted in his departure from his role as the World Bank’s chief economist.

IMF

He once described of the IMF staff as:

“[T]hird-rate economists from first-rate universities.”

To expand on Stiglitz’s criticism of the IMF, a 2002 article from the Guardian reads:

The IMF made two big errors in the 1990s, in Mr Stiglitz’s view. The first was to bow to Wall Street’s demand for new markets, by making IMF loans conditional on countries opening up their financial sectors. The resulting rise in speculative capital flows has proved disastrous for fragile economies.

At the first sign of trouble, foreign investors pull out. At the height of the Asian crisis, some countries faced capital outflows of more than 10% of GDP.

The second error was to prescribe a mix of fiscal austerity and high-interest rates for the countries in the speculators’ firing line. Calling on countries running healthy budget surpluses to tighten their belts only intensified the recession

His stinging criticism of the IMF turned so many heads that the director of external relations at the IMF gave an entire speech that retorted the many accusations and criticisms of Stiglitz. That speech-in-response, from June 2002, is still available on IMF’s website.

As things stand, Stiglitz’s take on bitcoin is somewhat coinciding with that of Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF. In a speech in late 2015, Lagarde was addressing bankers at a banking industry conference, quelling any fears that bitcoin and blockchain technology would threaten the banking industry.

Surely, there are a few students at Columbia University refreshing their pinned bitcoin price tabs while attending Stiglitz’s courses. It would be prudent to inform the professor that bitcoin is not only not-shut-down by the government, the cryptocurrency is also gaining in value recently.

Images from Shutterstock and Wikimedia.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsSamburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.




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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Douglas Crets

    September 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Ha. Love how the headline is supposed to milk the conspiracy theorists for all their attention, but the first quote from Stiglitz is pretty much the real headline: IT AIN’T MUCH TO WORRY ABOUT!

  2. grahvity

    September 7, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Yet another bitcoin obituary.

    • Orchideric

      September 27, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Haha indeed my thoughts exactly.

  3. Giulio Prisco

    September 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I remember that in 1986 late unlamented Colonel claimed that he “destroyed” the Italian island Lampedusa. Actually, they fired a missile that went very much off-target and didn’t do any damage. This claim that the US Gov “shut down” Bitcoin looks similar to me.

  4. ViP Berbigao

    September 7, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    The Bitcoin is transparent, very transparent and very public. Another academic four walls. The correct for him are corrupt governments who steal the savings of people with inflation.

  5. 한재영

    September 7, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    How ? And i think if US gov want kill the Bitcoin, they need Internet Shutdown. But lot of business melted within internet. that opinion is very stupid thinks.

  6. smd

    September 7, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    It will be an insult for Nakamoto to get Nobel prize while Stiglitz has one.

  7. Claudio Levrini

    September 8, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Ignorant and pretentious as you would expect from a former chief economist at the World Bank

    • Alexander Kopriwa

      September 25, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      And the IMF follows suite with Ms Lagarde… Transparency is NOT wanted.

      • Orchideric

        September 27, 2016 at 5:59 am

        Exactly… They are terrified of the Bitcoin blockchain, which is why Banking Cartel’s like R3 instantly formed. They’re scrambling to catch up so they can say Bitcoin has no advantage on speed; but transparency and decentralization will bite them in the butt. My prediction is that the moment they launch private chains, they will get hacked bigtime.

  8. Elwar

    September 8, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Reminds me of Iraq’s Information Minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, standing in front of his own media talking about how Iraq has defeated the US army while in a split screen it shows US troops downtown Baghdad.
    Nothing to see here. Everything is ok with the banks. Keep your money there.

  9. Ade

    September 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    40 Honorary Degrees in economics and still doesn’t know that the current centralised fiat ponzi scheme the world operates under is….a 200+ yr old get rich quick Scam for the 0.000001%

  10. Michael Bailey

    September 10, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    This has to be one of the most hilarious claims I’ve ever heard. It serves to demonstrate that “credentials” signify only one thing . . . that the holder is a top-notch pawn and mouthpiece of those who are really in control . . for now. Utter and complete ignorance doesn’t begin to describe the condition of this man’s mind. He hasn’t learned anything since studying Keynes in the 1960’s.

  11. Orchideric

    September 19, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Haha, as an American, I can assure you that Bitcoin has been welcomed with rolling out the red carpet and with open arms. The formation of the NYDFS and several other new regulations = nothing but loving adoption. Even in Florida where the Local Bitcoins fiasco happened the case was overturned.

    • WNDRKND

      September 24, 2016 at 3:21 am

      Even here in North Carolina, P2P sales are legal. Id say that’s about as open as it gets as far as making money legally.

  12. tracy lane

    September 27, 2016 at 5:57 am

    hyperhacktive1 @gmail .com is a professional hacker that specializes in exposing cheating spouse,and every other hacking related issues. he helps catch cheating spouse by hacking their communications like call, Facebook, text, emails, Skype and many more. i have used this service before and he did a very good job, he gave me every proof i needed to know that my fiancee was cheating. You can contact him on his email hyperhacktive1 @gmail .com to help you catch your cheating spouse, or for any other hacking related problems, he will definitely help you, he has helped a lot of people, contact him and figure out your relationship status. i wish you the best too.

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  13. Gimmel Yod

    October 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Have you looked at “Noble-Prize recipients” over the last decade? Seriously. No, SERIOUSLY. Have you looked at the list? Because the “Noble Prize” has essentially been “shut down by the US Government”. Oh, they still have a “thing” called the “Noble Prize”, – but it has the same value as a “PreApproved Credit card” notice: NONE. ZER0. ZILTCH. NADA. From those who push JUNK-SCIENCE – to WAR-MONGERS who win “Peace prizes” — the “Noble Prize” means NOTHING other than the recipient is some sort of political whore.

  14. Gimmel Yod

    October 3, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    “God is dead” – Nietzsche
    “Nietzsche is dead.” – God

    Which statement has been PROVEN true?
    Bitcoin is trading at over $600/per. What was the value of the “Dollar” again?

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Analysis

Crypto Update: Market Stabilizes but Bulls Not Out of the Woods

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The cryptocurrency segment looks much better than any time in the last 10 days, as the major coins managed to hold up above the liquidation lows hit on Tuesday. While the bounce stabilized the market, there is still substantial fragility following the steep selloff, and until further bullish moves, traders shouldn’t enter full positions.

That said, finally, there are signs of relative strength among the top coins as correlations are slightly lower, and some of the bearish leaders managed to recapture key resistance levels. Litecoin is trading right at the crucial $56 level, while Monero is above the $90 level, and as we noted before the exhaustion of their downtrend is a positive sign or the whole segment.

XMR/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The bounce and the following stability triggered a few upgrades in our trend model after spending almost 1 month in the sell zone, but there are still no majors on a buy signal as the segment-wide downtrend remains intact. Bitcoin remains the strongest coin from a technical perspective, while Ethereum and Ripple, which showed weakness for weeks, are also in better shape, even as they face very strong resistance levels.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum managed to hold up above the $275-$280 level during the overnight pullback, and now it faces the $300 resistance level again, trying to build on the recent rally. While the short-term downtrend is intact, and the oversold longer-term momentum readings could fuel a rally in the coming weeks, but now the coin is in a structural bear market after the break below $400.

The coin is now neutral from a short-term standpoint, but a move below $275 would point to another test of the lows. Further resistance is ahead at $3335 and $360, while strong long-term support is at $260.

Bitcoin Still Below $6500 as XRP Nears $0.30

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Not much has changed for Bitcoin in recent days, but relatively speaking the largest coin showed significant strength. That said, until BTC doesn’t show bullish momentum, traders still shouldn’t enter positions, as the structurally important $5850 level is still not far below the current price level. A move above $6500 would trigger a short-term buy signal, but further strong resistance levels are ahead at $6750 and $7000, while support is still found at $6275 and $6000.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple and Ethereum are in very similar technical setups, and XRP is also facing strong resistance at $0.30 after finding support overnight near $0.275. After the panicky spike below $0.26, the odds of a durable increased, and should the coin stay above the overnight lows, the coin could avoid another short-term sell signal. While traders should still stay away from entering full positions here, a bottoming process might already be underway.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 318 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Bitcoin Price Defends $6,000 as Crypto Market Cap Returns Above $200 Billion

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Bitcoin rebounded sharply on Wednesday after a bear market breakdown dragged prices to within $100 of yearly lows. Although the technical indicators have improved, significant downside risks remain.

BTC/USD Update

Bitcoin’s price was up 4.6% on Bitfinex to trade at $6,483. The leading digital currency reached a session high of $6,483, having recovered more than 8% from Monday’s swing low. Bitcoin’s 24-hour trade volumes averaged $4.6 billion on Wednesday.

The $6,000 price point has emerged as an important support level for bitcoin. As Hacked previously reported, this level is not only psychologically significant, it represents more or less the break-even rate for miners.

The monthly technical chart shows improving conditions in the bitcoin price, though this should be taken with a grain of salt given the market’s extreme moves as of late.

At current levels, bitcoin has a total market capitalization of $109.8 billion, which represents 53.6% of the total cryptocurrency market.

Altcoins and tokens collectively rose by $8 billion on Wednesday to reach a total value of $94.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The value of all digital assets was $204.6 billion.

The Market’s Next Move

Although predicting bitcoin’s next move is notoriously difficult, a successful defense of the $6,000 floor is an important step in facilitating the next rally. That the yearly low ($5,755) wasn’t breached during the latest downtrend suggests the bulls may be running out of steam.

That said, bitcoin’s dominance rate reveals structural weakness in the cryptocurrency market, not to mention damaged investor psychology. As Hacked reported Tuesday, cash-out from the ICO boom appears to be largely responsible for the latest reversal, a sign that investors were losing confidence in riskier assets. This is further corroborated by Ethereum’s dramatic selloff over the past seven days. The so-called developer’s cryptocurrency has been responsible for three-quarters of initial coin offerings.

According to BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes, investors shouldn’t expect a large price recovery at this stage given the general lack of momentum, volume and stability in the market. Trading volumes – a key proxy for demand in the cryptocurrency market – averaged $13.4 billion on Wednesday, based on latest available data.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 548 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Market Surges 10% but Downtrend Still Intact

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Following two days of almost constant selling, the cryptocurrency segment experienced an oversold rally, with the major coins recovering a small part of their recent losses. The technical setup is little changed so far, with the steep short-term trendlines being intact in most cases, and with the key resistance levels towering ahead of the top altcoins.

That said, as the longer-term charts have become clearly oversold, and as the selloff accelerated with signs of forced liquidations across the board, such as huge volumes and very high correlations between the majors, a durable bottom could already be forming in the segment. The next few days will be crucial in deciding that, as a successful test of the lows, and the formation of a relatively strong leadership could set up a broader short-term trend change.

For now, our trend model remains on a sell signal in case of the top coins, with Bitcoin being the closest to a reversal from a technical perspective. Ethereum bounced off the $260 level, Ripple found support near $0.26, while BTC recovered above $6275 but been stopped by the $6500 resistance, failing to trigger an upgrade in the trend model.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum surged higher after the US close yesterday and although it failed to add to those gains in early trading today, the coin is holding up just above the $275-$280 zone, but the steep downtrend is clearly in place. ETH has been very weak for more than a month, and especially since breaking below the $400 level last week, and more signs of strength would be needed for a trend change. Key resistance is ahead at $300, while further support below $260 is found at $235.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

On a positive note, Bitcoin joined the oversold rally after holding up well above the $6000 level and the key long-term zone near $5850. The coin also moved above declining trendline, but for now, the pattern of lower lows and lower highs is intact and the coin remains on a short-term sell signal.

BTC is clearly in the strongest technical position among the majors, and it could be the leader in a recovery, should it manage to build a bottom in the coming weeks.  Resistance above $6500 is ahead at $6750, and $7000, while further support is found between $5000 and $5100.

Correlations Remain High as Bearish Conditions Persist

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Ripple managed to hold up above its spike low below the strong $0.26 level and the bounce took it as high as $0.30, the steep downtrend remains intact and bulls would need further confirmation before entering new positions here. The coin is still deeply oversold from a longer-term perspective, and we expect a more durable bottom to form soon. Further resistance is ahead at $0.32, while support below $0.26 is found near $0.23.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Looking at the bearish leaders, most of the coins are in very similar setups, as correlations are still very high, and Litecoin and Monero are still slightly more promising than the likes of Dash, Neo, and IOTA, which remain very weak from a technical standpoint. LTC is trading near its recent swing low at $56 and should the coin manage to hold above that durably, a short-term bottom could form, which would be a positive sign for the segment.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 318 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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