Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff says he doesn’t think Bitcoin will succeed, barring extenuating circumstances.
Often touted as a store of value or a hedging asset, Bitcoin (BTC) has gained significant widespread adoption in recent months. However, Kenneth Rogoff, professor of public policy and economics at Harvard University, doubts the asset’s success.
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“I can see bitcoin being used in failed states,” Rogoff said in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, adding:
“It’s conceivable, you know, it could have some utility in a dystopian future, but I think governments are not going to allow large-scale pseudonymous transactions. They’re just not going to allow them. The regulation will go into effect. The government will win. It doesn’t matter what the technology is.”
Bitcoin has withstood its fair share of criticism over its 12-year history. Gold advocate Peter Schiff often comments against the technology, investor, Warren Buffett, once referred to the asset as “probably rat poison squared” and financial commentator Dennis Gartman expressed skepticism toward Bitcoin in late 2020, just to name a few examples.
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However, Bitcoin adoption has continued to grow despite skeptics. The asset surpassed previous all-time price highs, reaching a recent peak near USD 42,000 after several large major companies revealed their BTC purchases in 2020.
“I certainly think I agree that it’s speculative,” Rogoff said of Bitcoin.
“I’ve been a Bitcoin skeptic, and certainly, the price has gone up, but there’s sort of a fundamental question of what’s the use. Is it valuable because people think it’s valuable? That’s a bubble that will burst.”
“I think, in the long run, if there is no use, yes, the bubble will burst,” Rogoff posited. “I hope there’s not as valuable a use, but I guess it’s a hedge against dystopia.”
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By contrast, crypto industry leaders have portrayed Bitcoin as a hedge in less abnormal circumstances.