The crypto sphere is experiencing a hard year, dropping 10% again yesterday on all fronts and the run is reigniting old debates about the dependability of crypto as anything really; a store of value, a measure of wealth or means of exchange.
Twitter was the battleground for the most recent debates between cryptocurrency advocates and people who feel a deep responsibility to call the public attention to what famous crypto critic, Nouriel Roubini calls a ‘cesspool.’
Nouriel accused Ethereum creator, Vitalik Buterin of seating on his ass and doing nothing to continually develop the Cryptocurrency technology that has made him a billionaire in such a short time. Vitalik was quick to declare his assets as he refuted the claim he was a billionaire in a tweet.
Bull run? Crypto-currencies are bust. BTC down 70% this year. Other major ones down 80%. The rest down 95%. Major cryptos down another 10% yesterday alone. In which La La Land do these Crypto Lunatics live? They can't think as they lost 90% in less than a year. Wake up! https://t.co/dFQIJ6oRJR— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) October 11, 2018
In the tweet, Vitalik Buterin, one of the most influential people in crypto, says he’s not a digital-currency billionaire.
In a Twitter post, Buterin, who helped start the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, Ether, and continues to drive the development of underlying technology, said he never personally held more than 0.9 percent of the cryptocurrency, which has a market cap of $20.1 billion. Buterin posted a link Wednesday to his digital wallet, which currently holds 365,003 Ether, valued at about $73 million, and includes gifts and charity donations. Buterin said he has other wallets, ‘but they’re quite small relatively speaking.’
Buterin was responding to a tweet from New York University professor Nouriel Roubini, who accused him and another Ether co-founder, Joe Lubin, of becoming billionaires by creating some Ether coins for themselves before releasing the cryptocurrency for others to use. Lubin hasn’t responded to the tweet, while Buterin said, ‘I’m pretty sure there are no criminal laws’ against the practice, called pre-mining
@VitalikButerin was the ring-leader – together with Joe Lubin – of the criminal pre-mining sale/scam that created Ether. They stole 75% of the Ether supply and became instant "billionaires" of fake wealth. https://t.co/d3ltYuce4u— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) October 10, 2018
The accusations fly as, in most cases, creators of cryptocurrencies end up with huge portions of the coins, and can hold much sway over their price. Ether is down 86 percent since its January high, according to CoinMarketCap.com. In a February story, Forbes estimated Buterin’s net worth at up to $500 million, much lower than that of Ripple Labs co-founder Chris Larsen, for example, who was worth up to $8 billion.
It’s no news that the crypto sphere has created millionaires and billionaires, in crypto coins as well as in real cash. Is it a sustainable platform for generating real wealth though? The lack of regulation in the decentralized market and the pseudonymous nature of trades leave that question hanging. Advocates call the drastic drop in coin values as a long bull run that will change in time. Opponents call it evidence of a bubble, that unlike the internet which saw a steady user and income growth from the days of its promising beginnings, is headed for a burst.
What you think will depend on which side you agree with. In any case Caution wouldn’t be ill advised under these circumstances, My best C word right now.