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Novogratz Challenges Roubini, Will Bitcoin Be ‘Loved’ or ‘Denounced’

Novogratz Challenges Roubini, Will Bitcoin Be ‘Loved’ or ‘Denounced’ 101
Nouriel Roubini. Source: a video screenshot, Bloomberg

There was an amusing challenge issued during a panel discussion at the SALT 2019 conference in Las Vegas yesterday, when Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, a crypto-focused merchant bank, said to professor of economics at New York University and crypto-skeptic Nouriel Roubini: "If at Christmastime Bitcoin is above USD 6,000, you have to wear a shirt that says, 'I love bitcoin.' If it's not, I will wear a T-shirt saying, 'Nouriel was right.'"

As reported, Bitcoin touched USD 6,100 today, with its market capitalization surpassing USD 108 billion.

According to CNBC, the challenge was issued when Roubini said that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other similar projects don't deserve to be called "cryptocurrencies." He didn't reply to Novogratz’s dare directly, maintaining that he’s not concerned with bitcoin's fate – a statement which is contradicted by his criticism of the mentioned cryptocurrencies and his unwillingness to define them as such.

Roubini has clarified his position saying that the term "cryptocurrency is totally a misnomer. […] To be a currency, you have to be a unit of account, valuable and a scalable means of payment," and repeated his previous arguments about the insufficient scalability and high volatility of cryptocurrencies, according to CNBC. "The reality is, these are not currencies," he said.

However, as reported by Cryptonews.com, despite USD value of bitcoins received by merchant services is still considerably lower than in January 2018, the number of bitcoins being spent among retailers and merchants is on an upward trend.

Novogratz, on the other hand, gave the example of how well Bitcoin has recovered after the major drop in 2018, still enjoying great acceptance and familiarity in the world. He added that many companies, such as Fidelity and Facebook, are working on digital assets-related plans. "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 said, and added: "My sense is [Bitcoin is] going to continue to march higher."

In April, Roubini also joined a debate with smart contract platform Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin at the Deconomy Conference in Seoul, which attendees say ended in a draw.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi gave a familiar answer to a student’s question on cryptocurrencies, saying that “cryptocurrencies, or bitcoins, or anything like that” are not currencies, but “speculative assets” that do not have the same stability as the euro, for example, which also has the support of ECB. He finds that digital tokens are very risk, that their value widely oscillates, that currently “they are not significant enough in their entity that they could affect our economies in a macro way”, and that it falls under “the consumer protection competence.”

Cryptofans' reaction to Draghi's statements was swift.

In March, the ECB was unwittingly boosting the case for cryptocurrency adoption when Peter Praet, executive board member and chief economist of the ECB, said that the bank can create money to buy assets.

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