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Roubini: Bitcoin's 'hyperbolic bubble is going to go bust'

Julia La Roche
·Correspondent
·1-min read
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Famed economist Nouriel Roubini says that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which he’s dubbed as “sh-tcoins,” have no place in retail or institutional investor portfolios.

Roubini, a professor of economics at NYU’s Stern School of Business, slammed Bitcoin (BTC-USD) as it has hit recent highs and was last trading above $23,300.

“First of all, calling it a currency — it’s not a currency. It’s not a unit of account, it’s not a means of payment.…it’s not a stable store of value. Secondly, it’s not even an asset,” Roubini said.

According to Roubini, Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. He pointed out that assets — bonds, stocks, real estate, or precious metals — either provide income, capital gains or some form of utility.

Nouriel Roubini, Chairman of Roubini Macro Associates LLC and Professor of Economics, Stern School of Business, New York University, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Nouriel Roubini, Chairman of Roubini Macro Associates LLC and Professor of Economics, Stern School of Business, New York University, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

“While in the case of Bitcoin, there is no income,” he said. “There is no use. There is no utility. The only thing is a speculative, self-fulfilling kind of rise, and that rise is driven totally by manipulation.”

Roubini noted that there’s academic research to suggest that “this pseudo stable coin Tether has been created by fiat” and is “used literally to manipulate the price of Bitcoin.”

“The price of Bitcoin is totally manipulated by a bunch of people, by a bunch of whales. It doesn’t have any fundamental value,” he said. “We’re close to the point where the hyperbolic bubble is going to go bust.”

Julia La Roche is a correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.