In a debate on the digital currencies, Larry Summers, the former Treasury Secretary of the US, has a warning for Bitcoin’s naysayers. He said that they should ignore changes at their own peril. Though it is not a full endorsement of the digital currencies, it looks he understands that innovations are often for the better.
Coming from one of the world’s most influential economic thinkers is not going well with other thinkers like Nouriel Roubini of New York University who thinks that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme. Similar opinions were shared by lawmakers such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) who says it anonymity is “dangerous” and has said it should be banned.
Larry Summers who also worked as economic advisor to President Obama is of the opinion that the current financial system has substantial inefficiency and with the system depending on information technology, finance is now “ripe for disruption.”
He thinks that although he isn’t certain as to what will work or fail in the future, he is confident the payments systems will look very different within the next two decades.
Bitcoin Rejectionists are on the wrong Side of History
During the discussion, this former World Bank economist took a slight jab at libertarians when he said that libertarian paradise is not a terribly plausible vision. However, at the same time he said that Bitcoin critics are “on the wrong side of history.” He compared Bitcoin with the Internet as when it came, some people objected to it, only to reconcile later on.
The economist said that the people who rejected the Internet as a curiosity for scientists were on the wrong side of history, the people who rejected digital photography as really an artificial thing were on the wrong side of history too. Also, those who felt that non-gimmicky tennis racquets were made with wood were on the wrong side of history as well.
Thus, according to Mr. Summers it seems to him that the people who confidently reject all the innovation here in new payment and monetary systems are on the wrong side of history. He believes that Bitcoin will revolutionize the payments system as providing low-cost and fast transactions.
In his concluding remarks Larry Summers said that he is not ready to stand with those who are sure they have seen the future here, but it seems to him that it’s a serious mistake to write this off as either ill-conceived or illegitimate.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org