Another week in Las Vegas brought another intense battle between a major economist and bitcoin enthusiasts about the future of cryptocurrencies.
Professor Nouriel Roubini of New York University has trashed cryptocurrencies as a fashion that makes no economic sense, and called his underlying blockchain technology a "glorified worksheet."
"Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are the mother and father of all bubbles and a bubble that has already exploded, Blockchain is probably one of the most overcrowded technologies ever," Roubini said to a few hundred people at the 39; BlockShow industry.
During a discussion that followed his observations, cryptocurrency enthusiasts dismissed the terrible prospect of the economist. They predicted that the number of cryptocurrency users will grow to over 1 billion and that the price will increase by 10 times.
Roubini's pessimistic vision coincides with that of Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, who liquidated the cryptocurrencies during the ChainXChange show last week.
About six shows scheduled for this year on the Strip are dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrency. The two-day BlockShow at The Venetian, which ended Tuesday, attracted around 1,000 participants and a few dozen exhibitors.
BlockShow panelist Michael Terpin, who helps companies launch the first cryptocurrency offers, has compared the take-off of digital currencies to that of the Internet in the 1990s.
The number of cryptocurrency users will increase as people lose confidence in their financial systems, especially in emerging markets.
Roubini specifically specified this theory in his programmatic speech before the panel.  "Crypto is not the new Internet," said Roubini. "When your new technology is truly disruptive, adoption becomes exponential, the number of transactions increases exponentially, and transaction costs are falling rapidly." – "
However, this is not happening. with cryptocurrencies, he said. "They are not a store of value, an accounting unit or a viable payment medium.
Roubini also said that the generation of cryptocurrencies via computers – a process known as" mining "- it often happens in countries without democratic regimes, like China, Russia and Belarus. "Can we really trust those guys?"
Cryptocurrency investor Mark Mueller-Eberstein said that Roubini made some legitimate points but could " do not see trees for the forest. "
Mueller-Eberstein said that cryptocurrencies and blockchains will grow in the emerging markets, where weak institutions and poor infrastructure make the technology rgente.
Bitcoin is expected to increase the value again, saying the price could reach $ 50,000 to $ 60,000 "soon."
Bitcoin has gathered from just under $ 1,000 in January 2017 to nearly $ 20,000 in December 2017, before falling this year
Bitcoin's price was around $ 6,300 Wednesday afternoon
$ 100 million orders
Terpin said he now sees wealthy private investors trying to buy $ 100 million or more of bitcoins in private transactions outside of centralized exchanges.
While the speakers sang from the same songbook on the long-term prospects for bitcoin, they did not agree on the future of other cryptocurrencies. There are more than 1,000 coins of cryptocurrency, although most have lost 90% of their value.
Naeem Aslam told panelists that he had uploaded on Ethereum, the largest cryptocurrency for market value after bitcoin.
I saw only one good project in all this space other than bitcoin, "said Tone Vays, a former Wall Street merchant.
The explosion of initial coin offerings" is much worse "than the the dot com boom of the '90s because cryptocurrencies are much more accessible to the average person today than they were two decades ago, he said.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. President and CEO Sheldon Adelson Las Vegas Sands The Venetian .