Nassim Nicholas Taleb – a Lebanese-American economist known as the author of the book “The Black Swan” – started a quarrel on Twitter with the Canadian professor of psychology – Jordan Peterson – over bitcoin’s possible capability to ease monetary issues.
The former is a keen critic of the primary cryptocurrency, while the latter thinks it could provide benefits in times when the economy marches towards digitization.
Taleb’s Warning on Peterson’s Advice
As reported by Daily Mail, one of Australia’s leading banks – ANZ – plans to cease cash withdrawals from some of its branches. In addition, it intends to cut down its ATMs across the country, significantly reducing the amount of paper money it could provide to clients.
Critics have alerted that the policy could affect older customers and those with disabilities who predominantly rely on physical cash.
The renowned psychologist – Jordan Peterson – believes people could focus on bitcoin as an alternative to ANZ’s amendments. The leading digital asset has surged its popularity in the Land Down Under over the past few years. An Independent Reserve survey conducted at the end of 2022 estimated that over 90% of the locals are aware of its existence, while every fourth individual is a crypto HODLer.
Nassim Taleb disagreed with Peterson and warned inexperienced investors not to follow his guidance. He went further, claiming that the Canadian belongs to “the bitcoin cartel.”
I did not feel compelled to jump in & explain that Peterson talking about finance is slightly less sophisticated than a committee of antivaxx Canadian truckers lecturing on quantum field theory.
But I need to warn the young victims that Peterson is owned by the bitcoin cartel. https://t.co/gvB8FR5a4o
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) March 30, 2023
Nassim Taleb: From a Crypto Supporter to a Harsh Critic
The author of The Black Swan was a proponent of cryptocurrencies in the past, stating in 2019 that he prefers to stay away from cash, stocks, and bonds and instead invest in bitcoin and gold.
His positive stance seems to have changed following his issues with Coinbase in 2020. Back then, he closed his account on the platform, claiming it did not cooperate in resolving certain technical problems.
Taleb launched a bashing manifest against bitcoin in the summer of 2021, saying it should not classify as money, a store of value, or a digital representation of gold. He also opposed the theory that BTC is a product of libertarian design:
“The belief that bitcoin is an offshoot of libertarian and Austrian economics has not a shade of backing… Libertarianism is fundamentally about the rule of law in place of the rule of regulation. It is not about the rule of rule – mechanistic, automated rules with irreversible outcomes… Nor is libertarianism about total distrust.”
Subsequently, the economist maintained it is wrong to view bitcoin as a safe haven since it responds to liquidity “exactly like other bubble items.”