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Former PayPal CEO Labels Bitcoin a Scam

Reading Time: 3 minutes by on April 26, 2018 Bitcoin, Business, Commentary, News
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The former leader as CEO of PayPal and Intuit, Bill Harris, has said that he feels bitcoin is simply a scam.

“OK, I’ll say it: bitcoin is a scam,” Harris said in a recent guest post. Although he substantiated his comments by painting bitcoin as the biggest pump-and-dump scheme in history, the digital coin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto’s anonymity and elusive nature speak against Harris’ assertions, as does the mainstreaming of virtual currencies the world is currently witnessing.

Source: Youtube Screenshot

More importantly, in Bitcoin’s 2017 heyday, the currency rivaled PayPal’s market cap and is also a definite threat to the very existence of PayPal as a global transaction processor. Valid observations stemming from as far back as 2016 that point out PayPal’s ability to seriously quash and hamper if not outright kill bitcoin’s vision of itself as a global currency with the easiest and cheapest transactions, were the company simply to lower its costs.

A Cynical Harris Sees Nothing but a Scam in Bitcoin

Knowing that his comments would rile many, Harris nonetheless pointed to certain fundamentals when defending his words, words that he issued after cautioning many repeatedly over time.

“I’m tired of saying, ‘Be careful, it’s speculative. Then, ‘Be careful, it’s gambling.’ Then, ‘Be careful, it’s a bubble.’”

It may be that since PayPal and others deal only in fiat currencies and represent the cutting edge of online payments of the old school, that Harris’ area of expertise is clouding his opinions. Indeed, bitcoin is a better way of doing things, at least in theory, and projects also exist that enable PayPal and Bitcoin to get along.

Ripping into the cryptocurrency, Harris continued by labeling it as a “colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen… the losers are ill-informed buyers caught up in the spiral of greed. The result is a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary families to internet promoters.” Although bitcoin continues a far more respectable climb above $9,000 this week, something of a poster child for the cryptocurrency arena whose overall market cap recently surged $100 billion to $425 billion overall, Harris sees nothing but woe ahead.  

Writing in an article for Recode, the founder of Personal Capital Corp and former CEO of PayPal, Harris went on to explain why he dislikes bitcoin. Refuting all given reasons enthusiasts and promoters claim the coin has value, he also repudiated it’s core ability as a currency, pointing out that almost no one accepted bitcoin as payment in the world. Harris refuted all of the positive reasons enthusiasts and promoters forward in the coin’s defense. Labeling its supposed value as a classic case of Greater Fool Theory, he said that the coin’s volatility made it completely unsuitable as a store of value and that “Cryptocurrency is best-suited for one use: criminal activity.”

Harris made mention of WannaCry and Silk Road ransomware and their exploitation of the cryptocurrency arena.

Harris is Concerned About People Investing Money They Should not

“All of this would be a comic sideshow,” Harris said, “if innocent people weren’t at risk.”

Korean regulators, especially, have made the news due to their concern around the elderly in that country investing their pensions in cryptocurrencies to try and leverage wealth. “But ordinary people are investing some of their life savings in cryptocurrency,” Harris opined, something he sees as having nothing but a negative consequence as a result.

He called on regulators the world over and the SEC, in particular, to take hold of the situation and clamp down. Clearly harboring no visions of a digital coin future, Harris said that “It’s time we gave them the legislative authority to do their job.” Bitcoin is currently trading at $8,956.17.

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