As the European Parliament and the Bank of Finland release studies on cryptocurrency, three top American economists weigh in on the subject of Bitcoin. In an interview with Financial News, Joseph Stiglitz, Nouriel Roubini and Kenneth Rogoff unanimously cast doubt on the future of cryptocurrency, claiming it will inevitably be "regulated into oblivion" by governments attempting to crack down on money laundering and tax evasion. Nobel Prize-winning Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz showed particular concern for the anonymity of Bitcoin, saying "[y]ou cannot have a means of payment that is based on secrecy when you’re trying to create a transparent banking system." Stiglitz worries that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies allow "nefarious activity" which he said "no government can allow." He maintains that governments have not yet moved to regulate cryptocurrencies only because the crypto markets are still relatively small, but global financial regulations will inevitably follow. Harvard professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund Kenneth Rogoff criticized Bitcoin's volatility, noting that the digital currency reached a high last December of nearly $20,000 before falling to just $6,000 by the end of June. Rogoff said regulation would only trigger further price falls, going so far as to state that "Bitcoin could easily be worth just $100 in 10 years. People in power will move to regulate anonymous transactions. That you can be sure of."
Nouriel Roubini, the NYU economist who correctly predicted the 2008 global financial crisis, criticized Bitcoin's lack of intrinsic value, saying "[f]or bitcoin to be a currency it has to be a unit of account, a means of payment, and a stable store of value. It is none of these. Bitcoin is not even accepted at Bitcoin conferences, and how can something that falls 20% one day and then rises 20% the next be a stable store of value?" Stiglitz did note, however, that some governing bodies have stated that cryptocurrencies, at their current volumes, do not threaten traditional finance. The Bank of Korea and the Dutch government both recently stated that cryptocurrencies currently present a low risk to their respective financial markets.