Cryptocurrencies have boomed in recent years, but not everybody is on board yet.
Some naysayers like Dogecoin’s co-creator say crypto is worthless and “inherently right-wing.”
Other critics say it’s rife with get-rich-quick scams that drain ordinary people of their funds.
It’s easy to find crypto disciplines singing the movement’s praises online.
There’s Elon Musk, of course, alongside giant companies like Binance and Coinbase, and many other investors, developers, and apostles shouting its supposed social and financial benefits from the rooftops.
But what about those opposed to cryptocurrencies? Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin.
Warren Buffett thinks bitcoin is ‘rat poison squared’
The billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO has staunchly denounced crypto as merely a risky asset for a while, pushing back claims that it could revolutionize finance.
He believes it’s worthless because the virtual coin doesn’t produce anything. Rather its value is only derived from someone else paying more for it (similar to the pyramid scheme comparison that some critics typically use.)
“If you and I buy various cryptocurrencies, they’re not going to multiply,” Buffet told CNBC in mid-2018. “There are not going to be a bunch of rabbits sitting there in front of us. They’re just gonna sit there. And I gotta hope next time you get more excited after I’ve bought it from you and then I’ll get more excited and buy it from you.”
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has said it’s ‘worthless’
Dimon has also not kept his distaste for crypto a secret, calling it a speculative asset class that is “nothing like gold” or traditional fiat currency.
“Something that’s not supported by anything, I do not believe has much value,” he said in mid-2021.
He’s made it a point to separate his opinion from his company though — JPMorgan allows users to make payments with a digital coin that the bank created, JPM Coin, and has given clients access to a number of crypto funds.
From Doge to no
One of the more surprising anti-crypto heralds is the co-creator of meme coin Doge himself.
Jackson Palmer launched Dogecoin as a joke in 2013 and has since become a critic of cryptocurrencies, including posting a famous Twitter thread in 2021 declaring crypto “an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology.”
He said instead of crypto staying true to its decentralized roots, the space is now controlled by “a powerful cartel of wealthy figures” who have brought the worst parts of the centralized capitalist system into the market, like fraud and corruption.
Cryptocurrency is built “primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity,” he said.
Ben McKenzie, actor turned crypto critic
Another eyebrow-raising addition to the anti-crypto clan is Ben McKenzie, who starred in the hit early aughts show “The OC.”
He made waves in 2021 for a Slate piece scolding celebrities for jumping into the space for profit while dismissing the effect their influence could have on unsuspecting investors who follow them online. Kim Kardashian, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and actor Matt Damon are just some big names that have partnered with crypto brands and projects.
“[It’s not] a good idea for a public servant to promote gambling with one’s entire paycheck in what is essentially an unlicensed, unregulated casino,” the piece read.
Don’t miss Molly White and her ‘Web3 is Going Just Great’ tales
The Twitter account web3 is going just great has become a staple, tweeting hiccups big and small from the market to its 85,000 followers, from scammy investments to hacks that drain people’s bank accounts.
It’s run by Molly White, a seasoned Wikipedia writer and editor who has been dubbed one of crypto’s biggest alarm raisers.
The gist of her stance is that crypto-loving figures and companies are marketing the space as an innovative technology and a way to get rich — only to bankrupt the everyday people that threw their financial support behind it.
“People are putting in money that they can’t afford to lose,” White told the Washington Post in May. “They thought this might be their ticket out of poverty or they can finally stop working that minimum-wage job and then all their savings are gone.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is The Hill’s loudest anti-crypto voice
The Democrat has long slammed the crypto market for operating without the same rules that exist within the traditional finance system — rules that help keep consumers safe from fraud and risk.
She’s also lambasted the wealth-consumed aspect of crypto culture and for most crypto holdings sitting in the uppermost echelons of society, which she says doesn’t foster financial inclusion.
“We need real solutions to make the financial system work for everyone, not just the wealthy,” she said in December. “Bitcoin ownership is even more concentrated within the top 1% than dollars.”
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