Nouriel Roubini is no stranger to criticising cryptocurrencies and their communities. As a prominent economist who predicted the Financial Crisis of 2008, he is no fool. His most recent remarks described cryptocurrency fans as arrogant and zealots. In fairness to Nouriel Roubini though, for many (not all), this is indeed the case.
Cryptocurrency bag holders tend to be a very defensive bunch. If you label their coin as “s**t”, you should prepare yourself for a tirade of abuse. Because of the money involved in dealing with cryptocurrencies, there is a lot at stake for individuals.
The comments from Roubini have been met with a typically defensive response from the community.
There is a certain arrogance within the cryptocurrency community though. Some of this is probably due to the wealth they have accumulated from getting into Bitcoin early doors, therefore making themselves a healthy profit and developing a sense of smug superiority. Some of it also comes from Bitcoin maximalists who talk of hyperbitcoinisation and $500,000 Bitcoins. Those who shout loudest are usually the ones that have done well. It is unlikely for a cryptocurrency trader who has lost all their money to continue being such a huge fan of the industry.
Criticism can help people improve so long as it is constructive. Here, Roubini is highlighting a key issue and one that cryptocurrencies and people in the industry should listen to. Mainstream adoption is still some way off, and arrogance isn’t exactly an attractive feature. The cultish behaviour of the communities doesn’t make it easy for newcomers to enter the space either.
The ship has probably sailed on many people listening to Roubini in the industry, but sometimes, even though you might not want to hear it, such criticism can be positive for the space. The only thing is that it has to be acted upon.