Bitcoin 'Ought to Be Outlawed,' Economist Joseph Stiglitz Says

Bitcoin "doesn’t serve any socially useful function," says Joseph Stiglitz, a former World Bank chief economist and adviser to the U.S. president.

Nov 29, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:12 a.m. UTC

The former chief economist of the World Bank wants bitcoin banned.

"Bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight," Joseph Stigliz, currently a professor at Columbia University, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television today, as the cryptocurrency reached new all-time highs this week.

Because of this, he added:

"So it seems to me it ought to be outlawed. It doesn’t serve any socially useful function."

However, Stiglitz, who also chaired the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration, said he does support technological innovation in payments, but thinks digital money should still be fiat created and controlled by the government.

"Let’s move away from paper into the 21st century of a digital economy," he said.

Like many other members of the Davoisie, Stiglitz – who won the  Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 – called the run-up in bitcoin's price unjustified and unsustainable.

"It’s a bubble that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of exciting times as it rides up and then goes down," he said. "The value of a bitcoin today is expectations of what the bitcoin is going to be tomorrow."

And even though bitcoin is a decentralized network, with participants scattered around the globe, Stiglitz seemed to think Washington could easily nip it in the bud.

"If the government says 'the reason bitcoin is being used is circumvention,' they could close it down at any moment," he said. "And then it collapses."

You can watch the clip here:

Joseph Stiglitz photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
Bitcoin Records Eighth Week of Losses, but Sentiment Indicator Suggests Upside

Sentiment indicators reached “rock bottom” on Monday amid a prominent fund manager calling for a retest of 2019’s price levels.

Sentiment indicators reached “rock bottom” on Monday amid a prominent fund manager calling for a retest of 2019’s price levels.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Coinbase Enters Fortune 500 List of Biggest US Companies

The first crypto company to join the list recorded revenue of over $7.8 billion in fiscal 2021 and placed 437th.

The first crypto company to join the list recorded revenue of over $7.8 billion in fiscal 2021 and placed 437th.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Climate Company Flowcarbon Raises $70M Through A16z-Led Round, Sale of Carbon-Backed Token

Flowcarbon aims to drive investment in projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere by creating a protocol that tokenizes carbon credits.

Flowcarbon aims to drive investment in projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere by creating a protocol that tokenizes carbon credits.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
ECB Warns That Crypto Risks Could Spill Over Into Wider Economy

Given the increasing risks of crypto, it is important to bring it into the regulatory perimeter as a matter of urgency, the European Central Bank said in a report.

Given the increasing risks of crypto, it is important to bring it into the regulatory perimeter as a matter of urgency, the European Central Bank said in a report.

CoinDesk - Unknown